Meanwhile in America …

Written By: - Date published: 10:52 am, October 6th, 2018 - 123 comments
Categories: Donald Trump, International, making shit up, the praiseworthy and the pitiful, twitter, us politics, you couldn't make this shit up - Tags:

There is so much extraordinary news that comes out of America each week.

This week the latest news is that Kavanaugh looks like he will become a Supreme Court Justice, despite there being major questions about his actual suitability based on historical allegations of sexual assault, disturbing questions about his honesty and demanour and what appears to be problematic affection for beer.

The FBI has completed its rush job appraising the allegations of sexual misconduct that have been levelled against him. It was that rushed they did not talk to either Christine Blasey Ford or Kavanaugh himself. How anyone could think that a proper investigation could not fulfill that most basic of requirements is beyond me.

There was one copy only of the report and the Senators had to book a time to read it. I can understand the desire to prevent leaks occurring but couldn’t they at least have photocopied it so that the reading process could be sped up? And the FBI has been politicised in a way not seen since it levelled allegations against Hillary Clinton last election.

Republican Senator Susan Collins dutifully fell in line and pledged support for Kavanaugh on the basis that the allegations against him had not been proved on the balance of probabilities. Opponents are getting to run at her with former Ambassador Susan Rice putting her hand up.

And the funding site for the next Collins opponent crashed because there was too much interest in it.

Alaskan Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski was the only Republican with the guts to oppose the Kavanaugh nomination. Sarah Palin has responded by threatening to run against her. Democrat Senator Joe Manchin responded by being the only Democrat gutless enough to support Kavanaugh’s confirmation.

And the New York Times has published an in depth analysis of Trump’s finances and suggested that the Trump family has engaged in mass tax fraud to the tune of up to $550 million. And that Trump is that much of a business genius that he would have been better off if he did nothing other than put the money received from his father on term deposit.

No wonder Trump never released his tax returns.

And finally in as eloquent commentary of this administration as could be imagined Trump was filmed boarding Air Force One with toilet paper struck to his shoe. Stand by as Sarah Huckabee Sanders is briefed to deny that it was a piece of paper but was instead a trick of light played on us by the Chinese.

123 comments on “Meanwhile in America …”

  1. Sabine 1

    I have said it a few years ago when the orange shit ran for president of the US. That the ones paying the bills for the economic anxiety of white men and their chattels are going to be all the other women, all he other children that are not quite as worthy as are the economically anxious white men and women.

    and thus to all that supported or cheered the shit bowl on, on behalf of the women and the children and the people of color, fuck you..especially those o n the left that could not consider that sometimes voting for a flawed uninspiring candidate is the only thing you can do to prevent harm.

    • Andre 1.1

      I’ve got a special level of contempt for those that tried to paint Hillary and the dayglo Grab’em’fuhrer as somehow equivalent.

      • One Two 1.1.1

        It’s all the same level, Andre…so are the actors…

        But yeah yeah you’re democrat or whatever…

        Keep that special level of contempt for those who believe in, vote for and ensure continuance of the downward spiral…

        Self contempt…get comfortable with it based on your own words…

        • Andre 1.1.1.1

          … but it’s not quite at the level of contempt I hold for those who can be bothered to be active on a political discussion forum, but proudly profess to not vote as if that’s something heroic or noble or somehow improves society.

          • rhinocrates 1.1.1.1.1

            A little bit of self-contempt is an inevitable result of self-awareness, some grit you’ll never get out of the gears. If you’ve watched The Young Ones you’ll remember that Rik the People’s Poet was never so burdened by thought.

    • Anne 1.2

      Hear hear Sabine

    • adam 1.3

      Prevent harm, how delusional can you get? A slow grinding down you your rights and your freedoms is still a grinding down. You just wanted it with a nice smile, and the delusion she was there to help.

      Face reality, h.r.c is a bad joke, and her plan to get elected failed, she won the popular vote and still lost.

      Liberalism is a terrible failure for working people, and the last thing they need is the devotees of liberalism telling them that they are wrong for being angry about it. Or better yet some smug middle class white person telling them “fuck you”.

      Mind you the devotees of liberalism ain’t got much have they, except the occasional nice smile and the hope the delusion holds.

    • Liberal Realist 1.4

      How is Clinton any different? Deplorables anyone? Way to tar many millions of people with one broad brush. How about HRCs criminal activity? You see, it doesn’t matter who or which side they come from, they’re all batting for the same team. Trump is a symptom of the problem rather than the result.

      The political elite of the US on both sides (of the same coin) are utterly and completely corrupt. It doesn’t matter who acts as the figurehead, be it Trump or Clinton – outcomes for the people of the US, and the wider world are the same. The same bellicosity, hubris, arrogance, and belligerence world over.

      The message is, do as you’re told or get bombed/sanctioned/assassinated etc. etc. If you’re brown and muslim watch out! In fact, if you’re not anyone who is in the tiny elite circle, you’re at risk of destruction.

      IMO, the only real difference with Trump is that the veneer of civility has been lifted. Underneath the US was and always has been the grotesque monster we see today, and now that monster is out in the open for all to see.

      • Nick K 1.4.1

        Well put LR. I am on the right of politics and find Trump a disgusting, loathsome shithead.

        The problem is those on the other side are no better.

      • Philj 1.4.2

        Lib Realist.
        Yup, unfortunately I see the same train wreck. Trump is the Trojan horse, plus the manure lol.

    • D'Esterre 1.5

      Sabine: “….sometimes voting for a flawed uninspiring candidate is the only thing you can do to prevent harm.”

      And that’s just what US voters did. At least the current POTUS hasn’t started another war. On the campaign trail, he talked détente with Russia, questioned the point of NATO in the contemporary world, talked about removing troops from the ME. Clinton, on the other hand, is a neocon warmonger, talked up conflict with Russia. Then the Trump campaign won the EC vote: the critical one in the US electoral system.

      Unfortunately, Trump’s been hornswoggled by the Washington establishment, such that he hasn’t been able to pursue his policies in respect of NATO and Russia. Nor – thus far – troop withdrawals from the ME. More’s the pity….

    • reason 1.6

      The Women in Libya would look at you in disbelief Sabine …. Hillarys / Cameron / NATOs war has stripped them of just about everything. … Ignoring the total collapse and disappearance of equal rights, living standards, education, security etc ….

      One of Hillarys ‘Liberators / rebels’ first acts was to legalize polygamy … no doubt other of their extreme sect ‘customs like full face veil, child brides etc are also allowed.

      God only knows what has been happening to the Women victims in Syria …… another vicious cluster fuck of usa violence … that Hillary endorses

      And we could also look at the racist rapist fascist militias in the usa sponsored democratic coup of Ukraine ….. hey if they get the job done seems to be Hillarys concern ….. tough luck for the women, civilians etc. https://grayzoneproject.com/2018/04/07/the-us-is-arming-and-assisting-neo-nazis-in-ukraine-while-congress-debates-prohibition/

      Face it ….. decent Americans had no one to vote for in their non-democratic election.

      A known war criminal versus a criminally inclined potential one. ………..

  2. Dukeofurl 2

    Regarding the FBI investigation. When it come to background checks for political appointments – which is what the Kavanaugh ‘assessment’ was they have always been politically directed by the White House.
    So its no surprise that they have decided on the parameters and how long etc.

    Clinton was different in that it was supposedly to ‘investigate’ a breach of federal law. Thats likely why Kavanaugh hasnt been interviewed by FBI in this instance as lying ( or making ‘false statements’) to FBI or any government official is a breach of federal law. The swing side of that is the ‘5th Amendment’ where you dont have to say anything.

    https://news.clearancejobs.com/2018/02/20/fbi-and-their-background-investigations/

  3. Cinny 3

    Others that have ended up on the supreme court have had noticeable support from both sides of the house.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nominations_to_the_Supreme_Court_of_the_United_States

    It’s a near on 50:50 split at this stage, maybe a new law should be made that a supreme court judge hopeful should have 70% support.
    Because it’s turning into a red and blue pile of misguided shite at present.

    Their system is a shambles, so grateful to have MMP in NZ.

    Kavanaugh shouldn’t even be an option after the women came forward.

    Did watch Collins for a while, dutiful for sure.

    Supreme court judge for life… yeah… NAH! He can’t even keep it together for a ‘job interview’. Can he curb his emotion and views to make wise decisions? No.
    His wife could do with a hug.

    • Dukeofurl 3.1

      They did recently have the Senate 60% filibuster rule. It wasnt on the actual vote to ‘confirm’ but the vote to end debate on nomination and then have a final vote.

      That was something trashed by the GOP senate leadership for Trumps first Supreme court pick last year.

      • Humma 3.1.1

        Ah no, it was Harry Reid of the Democrat party who got rid of that. Dems hoisted by their own petard. You need to do some more research.
        #MAGA!

        • Andre 3.1.1.1

          You need to do your own research.

          In Reid’s filibuster reform, filibustering a Supreme Court nominee was left in place. Reid’s reform only removed the filibuster for lower court and some other positions. DoU has it right.

          https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/donald-trump/mcconnell-went-nuclear-confirm-gorsuch-democrats-changed-senate-filibuster-rules-n887271

          • Humma 3.1.1.1.1

            Hmm thanks for the link. Will have a look when I have more time, but I understood that because of Reid’s actions the Repubs just went “fcuk it” if you are going to play like that, then we can too.

            • Andre 3.1.1.1.1.1

              If you’re in the mood for research, you may want to look at the frequency of filibusters, who was doing the filibustering, and what was being filibustered. Over say the last 40 or 50 years or so.

              The filibuster had definitely gone from being an extreme measure of last resort and a statement of deeply held conviction, to becoming a near universal tool of blind partisan obstructionism. I’ll leave it to you to examine the data and come to a conclusion about which side was leading the charge.

            • Dukeofurl 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Cloture rule has been amended previously without it being removed

              In the 1960s changed from old rule wherefilibuster would stop all senate business, now doesnt under virtual filibuster where they dont talk continuously.

              1975- previous 2/3 or 66 votes revised to 60 votes.

              Previously in 2013 all the Republicans voted against eliminating filibuster for Presidential nominations except Supreme Court.
              After Trump became President in 2017 of course they flip flopped and now loved eliminating last use of filibuster for presidential nomination.

              My crystal ball sees Kavanaugh being impeached for his lies to Congress if Dems get both House and Senate and the seat left open for next President

              • Andre

                You reckon a Kavanaugh impeachment will get 67 votes for conviction in the Senate?

                • Macro

                  Sadly I cannot see that ever happening.
                  It would have to be be an outstanding act of treason to incur such wrath.
                  I fear the founding fathers made a serious error of judgement on this one, to make it virtually impossible to remove an errant President or Judge from SCOTUS. Yes there is a case that a President should have confidence in the fact that they cannot be removed easily from office in order that they may pursue their Presidency in the manner that they choose. But it should never be that difficult that it is impossible.

                  There is of course another factor in this who sorry saga. That is the power of each vote within the Senate represents a disproportionate section of US the population. (Haven’t expressed that very clearly but here is an example of what I’m on about) The population of California is 68 times that of Wyoming yet each state has precisely 2 Senators. The voting power of someone in California is only 1.5% that of a voter in Wyoming! And we know what the voter in Wyoming thinks of Kavanaugh.

                  Talk about democracy and the land of the free!

                • Dukeofurl

                  Impeachment occurs when House votes in a majority. Clinton was impeached but of course not convicted and removed from office by Senate.

                  • Andre

                    You said “…the seat left open for next President”

                    The seat won’t be open unless impeachment AND conviction happens. So do you think there will be 67 Senate votes for conviction, or do you think the Dems will just go through with an impeachment in the House in the hopes of embarrassing Kavanaugh and the Repugs (but has a good chance of backfiring like Clinton’s impeachment)?

              • Macro

                Calls for Impeachment have already begun!
                https://www.newsweek.com/impeach-kavanaugh-after-official-supreme-court-1156784

                Freshly approved Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh should be impeached by the House Judiciary Committee for lying to Congress about his involvement in the George W. Bush administration, according to a watchdog group’s petition Saturday immediately following Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the country’s highest court.

                Free Speech for People told Newsweek it started the non-partisan campaign ImpeachBrett.org that accused Kavanaugh of lying to Congress during testimony he gave in 2004, 2006 and most recently about alleged sexual assault and misconduct when he was in high school and college.

                “No one is above the law, not even a Supreme Court Justice,” co-founder and president of Free Speech For People John Bonifaz said in a statement. “Further, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has presented powerful and credible testimony that Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when she was 15 years old. And, there are serious allegations from two other women that he committed other acts of sexual violence. All of this warrants an immediate impeachment investigation.”

                The petition calls for the House Judiciary Committee to bring hearings over the alleged assaults and perjury that the non-profit group claims Kavanaugh committed during his testimony to gain a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit.

                Meanwhile Chief Justice John Roberts has already received more than a dozen judicial misconduct complaints against Kavanaugh. Roberts has chosen not to refer the complaints to a judicial panel for investigation.
                https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/dc-circuit-sent-complaints-about-kavanaughs-testimony-to-chief-justice-roberts/2018/10/06/c7e7b526-c8d0-11e8-b1ed-1d2d65b86d0c_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.c203f334c773

                Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. has received more than a dozen judicial misconduct complaints in recent weeks against Brett M. Kavanaugh, who was confirmed as a Supreme Court justice Saturday, but has chosen for the time being not to refer them to a judicial panel for investigation.

                A judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit — the court on which Kavanaugh serves — passed on to Roberts a string of complaints the court received starting three weeks ago, said four people familiar with the matter.

                That judge, Karen LeCraft Henderson, had dismissed other complaints against Kavanaugh as frivolous, but she concluded that some were substantive enough that they should not be handled by Kavanaugh’s fellow judges in the D.C. Circuit.

                In a statement Saturday, Henderson said the complaints centered on statements Kavanaugh made during his Senate confirmation hearings.

                • Cinny

                  Dang, that was fast, thanks for the link Macro.

                  • Macro

                    Those 46 Republican stupid old white privileged men and 4 women, have now opened a hornets nest of action by women that has been simmering away in the US since the confirmation of Trump as President. Women have had enough, and are now demanding to be heard. Already women out number the number of males seeking election as Democratic candidates. The youth are also well energized to vote wrt gun control and human rights so the Repugnants are definitely under threat. Interesting times.

                • Dennis Frank

                  That’s good. I hope the initiative succeeds. Impeachment by congress could become feasible if there’s a swing to Democrats in the mid-terms.

                  Jobs for life, a privileged caste, but no longer the last bastion of the patriarchy. Currently three of the nine are women.

    • North 3.2

      ” Because it’s turning into a red and blue pile of misguided shite at present.” !!!

    • james 3.3

      “Kavanaugh shouldn’t even be an option after the women came forward.”

      Why?

      Were her claims proven?

      • Cinny 3.3.1

        Was kavanaugh the only option?

        Another SCOTUSA candidate where people aren’t coming forward with sexual allegations would have been preferable. Or is there no such candidate?

        • alwyn 3.3.1.1

          I fear that as far as the vitriol in US federal politics at the moment there is NO acceptable candidate to be nominated by Trump as far as the Democrats are concerned.
          Their would be claims, of one kind or another, that would come forward in Trump nominates anyone.
          Or, frankly, vice versa if we get a Democratic President after 2020.
          Their Congressional system is busted.

          • Andre 3.3.1.1.1

            No claims of a similar nature were made against Neil Gorsuch. Despite there being a shitload of legitimate anger about the extremely dirty politics played by McConnell in blowing off his constitutional oath and obligations in refusing Merrick Garland even a hearing. You got a reasonable explanation for that, other than Gorsuch didn’t have a history of objectionable behaviour after heavy drinking and lying about it?

      • shadrach 3.3.2

        No. None of us know what happened, and I doubt we ever will. But I agree with much of what Catherine Cherkasky has to say in her article at https://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/voices/2018/10/04/false-accusations-kavanaugh-ford-innocent-column/1488329002/, particularly the final section titled “Our rush to judgment obscures the truth”.

        • mpledger 3.3.2.1

          It’s not really about whether the sexual assault happened – that’s not what those hearings were to decide. It’s about how Kavanaugh dealt with it. He did an appalling job in the hearings and on that performance he’s quite clearly not up to being on the supreme court – he let his emotions over come rational thinking.

          And it’s going to come and bite him if any more woman turn up. But then they are unlikely to – anyone with less social capital than Ford (and that’s pretty much every woman) is not going to lay themselves open to be ground into the dust.

          • shadrach 3.3.2.1.1

            You make a good point about Kavanaugh. But on Ford, her ‘social capital’ evaporated when she started bending the truth. There will those on the right who will support Kavanaugh no matter what. And there will be those on the left who do likewise for Ford. It’s a polarising event.

  4. In actual fact, the most important thing that happened in America this week was probably the signing of NAFTA 2.0.

    like any trade agreement it offers some easy inroads to criticism, as covered here…

    https://therealnews.com/stories/nafta-2-0-enshrines-deregulation-for-all-of-north-america

    But on the other hand, even the Corporate Democrats don’t want to offer too much criticism..

    Washington, D.C. — Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released this statement after the Trump Administration posted text of its revised NAFTA proposal:

    “Any trade agreement proposal must be judged by whether it improves the wages, working conditions and well-being of America’s workers and farmers. Fixing NAFTA means increasing the paychecks of American workers, delivering real, enforceable labor standards, ensuring fairness for American agriculture, and recognizing the connection between economic growth and environmental protections.

    “Democrats will closely scrutinize the text of the Trump Administration’s NAFTA proposal, and look forward to further analyses and conversations with stakeholders.

    and meantime this for the bernie/progressives point of view..

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2018/02/02/sanders-and-trump-agree-nafta-has-to-change-they-split-on-how-to-fix-it/?utm_term=.bb8e20bbadce

  5. cleangreen 5

    Anything George Soros (the convicted criminal) has funded as he did here the ‘#MeToo movement’ with a sizable donation to kill the kavanaugh nomination was going to be very smelly and highly controversial.

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/24524/george-soros-funded-group-gathering-trumps-ryan-saavedra

    “George Soros Funded Group Readying Trump’s Sexual Harassment Accusers To Push For Congressional Investigation
    “Their disturbing allegations came to light before the post-Weinstein era of accountability for sexual misconduct and the rise of the #MeToo movement.”

    https://dailycaller.com/2018/07/15/demand-justice-george-soros/

    https://www.lifenews.com/2018/07/16/pro-abortion-billionaire-george-soros-spending-millions-to-defeat-brett-kavanaugh/

    • Macro 5.1

      🙄

    • Andre 5.2

      Oh dear, did they switch on HAARP and the beams are leaking through your hat? Quick, put another layer on.

    • Soros, all by himself? All those women are irrelevant puppets in your worldview? If you’re going to bring up Jewish conspiracies like Viktor Orban, are you sure that you don’t mean the Rothschilds or the Elders of Zion? As a source, The Daily Caller is only a bit to the left of The Daily Stormer.

    • marty mars 5.4

      right wing conspiracies are your bread and butter it seems cg

      • rhinocrates 5.4.1

        Circle of Derp

        It’s been a curse of the left for a long time. The extremist poseurs start promulgating the same conspiracy theories as the far right and ultimately the same “solutions.” Unfortunately, antisemitism comes pretty close to the surface or even breaks through. Hence a frequent contributor here claiming to be on the left making a post that fascist and anti-semite Le Pen deserved a vote over the admittedly flawed but not racist Macron.

        I know the campaign to accuse Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party in the UK of antisemitism is orchestrated by Tories who have strategically supported the open antisemite Viktor Orban in Hungary due to issues over Brexit, but certain people on the left seem quite blithe about promoting conspiracy theories that are fundamentally antisemitic. The ills of the world used to be all down to the Elders of Zion, then it was the Rosthchilds and now they’ve filed the serial numbers off and wave around the same conspiracy theories with “Soros” taped on them instead – but always its a Jew somewhere supposedly controlling everything.

        CG’s posting over Soros is particularly egregious in that it’s misogynist as well, supposing that women’s testimony can have no autonomous value or integrity as it’s all orchestrated by an evil male Jew.

        • marty mars 5.4.1.1

          yes – a few here are fully immersed in the conspiracies. They are harmless hammers imo. Of more concern are the pretend lefties that use subtle erosion to destroy that which they cannot conquer – namely real lefties.

        • Macro 5.4.1.2

          Totally agree.
          Regrettably we see it all the time here.

        • veutoviper 5.4.1.3

          I am female and part Jewish, and I hear what you, marty mars, Macro etc are saying and agree with most of it. RE cg himself, I know who he is in real life (which I wlll obviously not divulge), that he has had a rough time with medical problems caused in his work environment (in the US IIRC) but has also done good advocacy in the past for local/community issues here in NZ which he talks about here. But he is also well on in his years, so how about a little indulgence and kindness in that regard; and just talk the issues and leave him personally out of it. I know its hard sometimes and yes, I have been guilty of the latter on occasions. But lets all try.

          • Sacha 5.4.1.3.1

            Could you perhaps pass on to CG that the breathless tinfoil stuff is best shared elsewhere (Facebook perhaps), to keep this place focused on NZ labour movement politics.

          • Andre 5.4.1.3.2

            Sadly, the number of “out there” opinions cg holds and the way he mixes them into unrelated topics probably significantly reduces the effectiveness of the advocacy he does on worthwhile issues. So if the feedback he gets induces him to put a lid on the weird stuff, then he may become more effective in his community and transport advocacy.

            • veutoviper 5.4.1.3.2.1

              Andre, I agree with you but sometimes age brings on conditions where people are no longer able to see what you are suggesting and they are well past being effective regardless. I take it you do not have elderly relatives etc who are in similar stages of ageing and related conditions that affect their mental abilities.

              As for Andre’s comments, I do not know cg directly but others who do have confirmed what I have suggested. And yes, he does share his views elsewhere, eg TDB.. Accommodations have been made successfully here for similar cases, eg Eco M.

              • Okay will do. Thanks for giving some context.

                • Dukeofurl

                  Brain damage means you support Trump and his conspiracies plus be anti #metoo

                  I dont think so. It was like when Roseanne Barr blamed her outburst on a sleeping pill. The manufacturer quite rightly said racism isnt a known side effect.

                  Add to that what seems to harassment of ( women) office staff of MPs, I think we cant be played by the ‘kindness’ card. Enabling that behavior doesnt help at all.

                  • If you’ve got energy for it – sweet.

                    I don’t know the ins or outs of what the situation is. I can’t be bothered shooting fish in a barrel or tethered prey.

  6. RedLogix 6

    I’ve spent some time following this extraordinary episode; all I can say it’s been an extraordinary few months. Regardless of what side of the fence you are on about Kavanaugh … you really have to hope the political process in our small country never becomes so deeply dysfunctional as this.

    Ultimately the left is going to have to decide where it stands on this; do we promote guilt by accusation, or adhere to due process and rule of law? It’s a profound and awful question.

    • Macro 6.1

      Red – it’s not just whether or not as a teenager he sexually assaulted a young girl, or whether he was economical with the truth about his drinking, or if he is as partisan or impartial politically (he obviously is not given his testimony to the Senate), but it is also about his temperament wrt to acting in a balance and considered manner. His response to the senate seriously calls this aspect into question.
      Over 2400 law professors have written an open letter to the Senate calling for them to seriously consider this aspect.
      The US Bar Association is reconsidering its approval rating of him of “Highly Qualified” for the appointment.
      Yale has withdraw his lectureship.
      Harvard have also written to express their disapproval of his appointment.
      The National Council of Churches representing over 40 million Americans have also withdrawn their support.
      The Whitehouse FBI “investigation” was little more than a whitewash, allowing those Repugnant senators who were wavering, the pass to go ahead with this despicable White Old mens fucking up of the US judicial system. A fucking up which could last for decades.

      • miravox 6.1.2

        I agree that this is more than about the alleged sexual assault at 17. Societal forgiveness of an adult for what they did at 17 is valid option – most of us had bad behaviours and sometimes made appalling decisions as teenagers that hurt other people. But then most get on to be responsible adults who don’t do those things ever again. However, if that behaviour is uncovered, how it is dealt with is crucially important. If it does get found out later, they apologise, make reparation, they own up.

        What I do hold against Kavanaugh is the way he responded to the allegations.

        He lied, he dissembled and he refused to answer straightforward questions. He threw a cynically political tantrum. He probably has an unacknowledged drinking problem. All of these are reasons he should have failed his job interview. I can’t believe an ordinary working person would be hired for any job if they put on that display (even if they believed they were falsely accused of something).

        I don’t agree with the way the Republicans are using the presumption of innocence line either. If someone reports a serious crime, whatever it is, even though there should be a presumption of innocence, there should be a presumption that the reported crime is investigated properly. That didn’t happen in this case.

        Kavanaugh is still to own up about his clearly documented bad behaviour as a teen. He’s not fit to judge anybody until he deals with this, including properly addressing how he’s treated women in the past.

        • RedLogix 6.1.2.1

          He lied, he dissembled and he refused to answer straightforward questions.

          And so did Ford about her ‘fear of flying’. It’s not hard to find inconsistencies in her story as well. Not to mention the complete lack of corroboration by anyone who might have been there.

          The point is that when it comes to events 38 years in the past absolutely no-one is going to be able to recall events with perfect consistent accuracy. There will always be holes and inconsistencies, and some things we aren’t going to be fully candid about. This is true for everyone: me, you and everyone else reading this thread.

          There are no perfect people in this world. Supreme Court judges included. Almost all of us were young once, got drunk and flirted with the boundaries, if not stepped over them a few times. I’m damned sure Kavanaugh, along with many of his teenage contemporaries (both male and female) were getting smashed and engaging in all kinds of sex that they’ve long grown out of. We are talking USA high school culture of the early 80’s here.

          But whether any of it is actually pertinent to the adult 38 years later is a lot less obvious.

          He’s not fit to judge anybody until he deals with this, including properly addressing how he’s treated women in the past.

          That’s the presumption of guilt right there. That’s the problem I have with your argument. And if he did as you wanted the outcome would not be forgiveness as you reasonably suggest; in the current atmosphere he’d be crucified.

          • miravox 6.1.2.1.1

            ” And so did Ford about her ‘fear of flying’.”

            It wasn’t Ford’s job interview so it’s rather irrelevant. Kavanaugh’s behaviour is what is important.

            “The point is that when it comes to events 38 years in the past absolutely no-one is going to be able to recall events with perfect consistent accuracy”

            Which is why it’s important to investigate properly.

            ” …Almost all of us were young once, got drunk and flirted with the boundaries, if not stepped over them a few times…”
            Agree, and I said as much in my first paragraph.

            “But whether any of it is actually pertinent to the adult 38 years later is a lot less obvious.”
            How they respond 38 years later when called on that behaviour is exactly what is pertinent. Especially for someone whose job it is to interpret the law and judge others.

            ” That’s the presumption of guilt right there”
            That’s not a presumption of guilt about the allegations. That’s not even about the allegations. That’s in his year book and the words of his contemporaries, both at Yale and in his job.

            • RedLogix 6.1.2.1.1.1

              It wasn’t Ford’s job interview so it’s rather irrelevant.

              But the ‘fear of flying’ thing nonetheless does speak to her credibility. Or in this case it probably has more to do with being an evasive explanation about the delay in her appearance. And likely that has more to do with Fienstein than Ford.

              Which is why it’s important to investigate properly.

              Investigate what exactly? There is no forensic evidence, we don’t even know the location. The ONLY thing that any investigation might do is conduct interviews with possible first-hand witnesses.

              There aren’t all that many of them, and it appears the FBI had the wit and wherewithal to get them done in two days. How much longer was needed do you think?

              How they respond 38 years later when called on that behaviour is exactly what is pertinent.

              And if you truly believed that the allegations are wrong then exactly why are you supposed to apologise sincerely for something you know you haven’t done. Or am I missing something, here?

              • miravox

                ” Or am I missing something, here?”
                He lied.
                He lied repeatedly.
                He’s a judge and he lied repeatedly.
                He wants to (and will) be an even more important judge.
                How will he judge? He’s a proven liar.

                He said he drank.
                He drank more than just a lot. Ralph was the name for Mr 100-keg.
                And still he drinks.
                No-one said how much he drinks now.
                How much should a judge drink?

                It was a job interview.
                He lied about his drinking.
                His behaviour in the job interview was appalling for a mature man – no matter what he was accused of. I reckon he wouldn’t tolerate that behaviour in his court.

                I’m not even talking about whether he’s meant to apologise for sexual allegations, or what that should look like.

                And I think I’ll just leave it there. There’s enough written about this to show what I’m writing isn’t even up for factual debate.

                • RedLogix

                  There’s enough written about this to show what I’m writing isn’t even up for factual debate.

                  OK I’ll stop there if you want.

          • locus 6.1.2.1.2

            why talk about proving or disproving anything? just look at the lies of the man about his – corroborated – drinking habits when he was under oath. Is this the best pick for a SCJ?

            • RedLogix 6.1.2.1.2.1

              Again it’s way to easy just to call out ‘lies’. There is zero evidence that his teenage drinking has any relevance to his potential role on the Supreme Court.

              What he did say was that ‘he liked a beer, and sometimes he drank too much in those days’. Well that’s open to fairly wide interpretation. Basically he’s saying ‘I got smashed sometimes like pretty much most American teenagers do, but if I come out and say that I regularly blacked out then it will be used to discredit my evidence’. He said enough and no more. This is exactly how legal minds work.

              In my own life I’m not a much of a drinker, but probably in my early 20’s I got seriously legless about three times. As it happens some of the same people were there on most occasions; social circles being like that. What are the odds at least one of them might have a dumb-arse recollection that I was an awful habitual drunk back in the day? Can’t rule it out. People’s recollections of events ten minutes ago can be astoundingly inconsistent, let alone what happened almost 4 decades in the past.

              Again we really need to think through exactly what is motivating our arguments here. Personally I don’t give a rat’s patui about Kavanaugh. But I am passionate about fairness, even-handedness and due process. If we want to move away from those principles, expect me to make an nuisance of myself.

              • locus

                I possibly didn’t make my point clearly enough… which is that Kavanaugh evaded answering a question about the extent of his drinking habits, turning the point back on his questioner… saying “do you like beer senator….I am a loyal beer-drinking American are you?”

                Yes we do know what ‘liking’ beer meant to Kavanaugh at Yale – corroborated by his peers – i.e. frequently drinking to oblivion. And he uses the same phrasing for the way he drinks now, yet tries to imply he just enjoys a beer….

                In this testimony I can see how your sense of fairness, even-handedness and due process might be applicable in terms of whether we believe Kavanaugh sexually assaulted anyone, but apply the same fairness and even-handedness to his statements on his alcohol consumption and I think it reasonable to conclude that he’s evasive and lying about his current level of alcohol consumption. This is as a mature man being assessed for his suitability a SJC. By giving him the benefit of doubt on this aspect you are being partisan.

                • RedLogix

                  You have to keep in mind that many of these questions K was evasive or misleading about, were ONLY asked because Ford’s testimony opened the door for them to be asked.

                  It’s almost as if Ford’s experience doesn’t matter much anymore; her presence having being little more than a lever to wedge open a fishing expedition into K’s teenage life.

                  to his statements on his alcohol consumption and I think it reasonable to conclude that he’s evasive and lying about his current level of alcohol consumption.

                  I definitely stand to be corrected on this; but so far I seen no-one suggest that in his adult life Kavanaugh has a problem with alcohol. As I said elsewhere, I’d be shocked if he was any different to virtually all other teenagers and he didn’t get more than a bit smashed from time to time. Probably the pace was set by the rest of his social circle at the time, and like almost everyone else, something he grew out of in his mid-20’s.

                  Is it reasonable that he should have to confess in excruciating and accurate detail everything about his personal life as a 17 yr old? I don’t think so. When it comes to being open about my personal life, I’m probably more candid than anyone else here at TS. But sure as shit there are some things you ain’t gonna hear about. Ever.

                  And especially not to make someone on a pig-fucking expedition happy.

                  • locus

                    who are you saying is on a pig-fucking expedition? And what does that mean?

                    I’m guessing that your judgement that “someone’s on a pig-fucking expedition” is an angry response to my interpretation of the man from his own words. Please listen to the man again and decide based on that fair and even-handed approach as to whether you really think he is avoiding talking about his behaviour as student or evading talking about his current drinking habits.

                    Aside from anything else, this hearing was not just a he-said she-said. It was an exhibition of behaviour, attitude and desire to answer fully and truthfully. I doubt there are many people who would say Kavanaugh’s exhibition during this hearing was something that is befitting a SCJ.

                    • RedLogix

                      who are you saying is on a pig-fucking expedition? And what does that mean?

                      It has a very specific meaning in a political context. Look it up.

      • RedLogix 6.1.3

        It seems to me this is the reason why sex and politics are not a great mix; never clean and no-one is ever happy with the outcomes.

        This is not the first FBI check on him; there have already been an intense and drawn out process conducted over many months prior to these allegations, and he came up clean on them.

        The Dems of course had every political reason to want yet another long drawn-out investigation in the hope that the mid-terms just a few weeks away would swing the Senate numbers in their favour. It’s hard to argue they are operating in good faith on this.

        Both Ford and Kavanaugh had already given many hours of testimony under oath; yet another round of interviews with them would only expose both of them to a risk of perjury and with a very low probability of extracting any new information of value.

        At the other end, expanding out the investigation to include numerous people who could bring nothing but hearsay or otherwise legally inadmissible testimony to the table was never going to play either. It seems the FBI have worked with all the witnesses who might have provided first-hand corroborating testimony, and none have.

        The brute reality is that not all allegations are going to be true; and it’s entirely possible Ford’s is one of them. (This does not necessarily imply her testimony is malicious). Still if as a matter of political expediency we are going to assume guilt by female accusation, just come out and say so. Re-write the legal system to assure this is the case; that all female testimony MUST be automatically treated as iron-clad evidence and ALL males testimony MUST be automatically discarded. It would ensure all rapists are dealt to most effectively.

        What could possibly go wrong?

        • Macro 6.1.3.1

          As I said above Red – the fitness or otherwise of Kavanaugh to sit as a Judge on the highest court of the Land is not about what he did or didn’t do 35 years ago; it’s about the other qualities that he brings to the job – and at his job interview he displayed an appalling lack of these qualities – so much so, that the legal profession are calling into question his character, and fitness for the job of Judge.
          But the Repugnants – almost exclusively old, white, privileged, men* can only see the end goal – confirmation of their golden boy Kavanaugh (whom they have groomed for decades) onto SCOTUS. The outcome of this will be horrific for the quality of life for many Americans. Already 24 states are lined up to radically change abortion Laws. Women and LGBT rights are seriously under threat with this impending appointment.

          * Even though the US has had universal suffrage since 1925, for the Republicans there are 5 women out of 51 senators. Chuck Grassley the senior R senator on the Senate Judiciary Committee is 85 FFS! and long past being put out to pasture.

          • RedLogix 6.1.3.1.1

            Well I actually had the time last night to watch a fair bit of both testimonies. My main reaction was a desire to fall asleep. Much of it was dull and disconnected; the five minute limitation was being gamed on both sides. Both had strong and weak moments; I agree K was probably being evasive of some questions; but then again some of the questions were definitely deep into pig-fucking territory, so total naivety was probably not the smartest strategy either.

            But work with me on this; assume K is indeed innocent. Let’s assume Ford’s memory is wrong, either in terms of identity, location, time or the actual events. What exactly do you think a normal human reaction to such a serious and damaging accusation might be? Righteous anger? Reserved and silent? Terse and a bit combative? Defensive or aggressive? Passive or on the front foot? And how do we go about judging it?

            We judge people on their emotional responses more than anything else. So exactly what response should K have done to have satisfied you? Like if he had coolly shrugged the accusations off with minimal emotion, would this be Kavanaugh being imperious and arrogant, lacking humility?

            • Sacha 6.1.3.1.1.1

              Nicky Hager’s book ‘The Hollow Men’ included details about Brash being coached by McCully and others to use fake outrage as a tactic in the 2005 election campaign. Which country’s political advisors do you think they learned that one from?

              • RedLogix

                This is good news indeed! From here on in can we take it as a given that outrage is now definitively diagnostic of lying.

                Incidentally there have been plenty of people equally perturbed by Ford’s demeanour and tone of voice as well. Remember this woman is a Professor of Psychology, so we have to assume she’s not entirely without resource when it comes to emotional manipulation either.

                The problem for all of us is that only three people might possibly know what actually happened in that room. The rest of us are guessing. In the absence of any solid corroborating evidence, we naturally fall back the social tools we use day to day to evaluate people around us. We evaluate body language, tone of voice, eye contact, posture to make a first pass guess at whether we are going to trust someone or not. It’s a useful, efficient shortcut. But it’s an entirely subjective one; what works for one person will be quite different for the next. Millions of people have watched both of these people and trust me, they’ve not all reached the same conclusion.

                America is deeply polarised over this. It’s quite haunting to watch.

            • Macro 6.1.3.1.1.2

              If the Senate had been serious in its attempt to give Christine Ford voice, and to get to the bottom of what were her allegations, then it would have conducted itself far differently to the sham that you watched. Furthermore the subsequent FBI investigation would have been far more wide ranging and thorough than the 2 day whitewash that it was.
              I understand that someone would be emotionally upset at scurrilous accusations – but there was ample circumstantial evidence to support the claims, there is also substantial doubt as to the veracity of his answers, and there have been classmates who have volunteered information on hearing his testimony to say that he was not telling the truth, but the FBI have refused to hear their evidence. Even Trump had to acknowledge initially that her testimony was convincing. He subsequently threw all that under the bus when he realised that such an acknowledgement wouldn’t go down well with his support base.
              I’m sorry – but what has occurred here are reactionary white males doing everything they can to protect their privilege in the face of a growing movement by women to gain a voice. They are ultimately doomed to failure.

              • RedLogix

                If the Senate had been serious in its attempt to give Christine Ford voice, and to get to the bottom of what were her allegations, then it would have conducted itself far differently to the sham that you watched.

                It seems Ford wrote to Feinstein back in July asking for complete confidentiality. (In her testimony she said this was because she didn’t know how to contact the US Senate.) Someone in Fienstein’s office leaked the letter.

                When the Committee heard about this, they approached Ford’s legal team with the offer to fly to California to hear her in private. In retrospect this would have been a very good idea. For some unspecified reason this offer was never conveyed to Ford. The first she knew of it was during the hearing itself.

                Then she gave the reason for her delay being related to a fear of flying. There is now good evidence Ford has routinely flown many places with no problem. It may have some truth, but why she said something so readily refuted in the context of these events has become a question of some contention.

                Blind Freddy can see the Dems threw Ford’s confidentiality under a bus, kept her in the dark about the offer of a private hearing, and then delayed her appearance until the last possible moment in the hope of delaying the vote until after the mid-terms.

                I agree, whether her recollection of events is accurate or not hardly matters anymore. Sadly I must add. A lot of Americans can see what’s happened here and don’t like ANY of it one little bit.

                • Macro

                  Fear of flying is hardly in the same league as sexual assault on 3 alleged occasions, or habitual underage drinking, or drinking to excess and boasting about it in your year book and letters.
                  Fortunately the Democrats are far more sensitive to the issues that women face, and in their own way are attempting to address that – for instance in the upcoming midterms more women than men will stand as Democratic candidates.
                  That sometimes factors get in the way of women’s voices being heard and speaking truth to power, is an issue that the modern world has to deal with. But for far too long women have been subservient to male power, particularly in the US, and now women are doing something about it.

                  • RedLogix

                    Fortunately the Democrats are far more sensitive to the issues that women face, and in their own way are attempting to address that

                    By leaking confidential letters? Yes that should do it.

                • McFlock

                  To put it bluntly, Kavanaugh had several options available when allegations were made (preferably choosing the one that best matches his recollection of events):

                  Firmly but soberly deny the allegations over days of grilling, displaying grace and dignity;
                  Acknowledge a drinking issue but say he does not remember the event, apologising to Ford if it was indeed him who did that but was too drunk to remember, highlight how much of a “nice guy” he is now;
                  Acknowledge it if it did happen, apologise, talk about how he should have handled the culture at the time better, talk about what a “nice guy” he is now;
                  Tell easily-revealable lies about every detail, yell, be highly emotive, claim persecution, and act like a dickhead.

                  Not all of those responses make him unfit to be a supreme court justice even if Ford’s allegation is true. But regardless of what happened decades ago, his choice of the last alternative makes me think he’s incapable of separating emotion from the facts of a particularly trying case. If a freedom of speech case against a slimebag pornographer goes to the supreme court, do you think he’ll be able to separate his revulsion for the appealant or the material from the arguments being presented? I really have no idea either way.

                  But if he’d acted with dignity under persecution, I’d be more willing to think that yes, his behaviour demonstrates the temperament to judge difficult cases on their merits and without prejudice.

                  • RedLogix

                    But if he’d acted with dignity under persecution, I’d be more willing to think that yes, his behaviour demonstrates the temperament to judge difficult cases on their merits and without prejudice.

                    I’m willing to accept that at face value; but somehow I don’t think the US Dems would have.

                    Besides exactly how would YOU react when faced with a serious allegation, one with immense personal consequence, that you personally believed to be false? Personally a spot of righteous anger is perfectly legitimate. Dr Spock was a fictional character, not a real person.

                    And keep in mind the vast bulk of his testimony (many hours) was measured and dignified as you ask. The media played the Angry Mc Angry Face bits over and over.

                    • McFlock

                      But that’s the point. Supreme court justices have to be 100% on game.

                      We actually have a pretty good example: Clarence Thomas. Now, he’s been a fucky judge in many respects, but he too was confronted with accusations at his confirmation hearings, and a politicised process. Where’s the Angry McAngry footage of Thomas throwing his toys? Or any other supreme court justice? The reason the McAngry footage is shown is because it’s news for a fecking SCOTUS candidate to drop their shit like that.

                      I’d expect judges to be better able to handle their shit than I can. That’s their job, to separate the personal from the facts and the argument.

                      And yeah, many dems would still have been partisan (and, you know, maybe some would have thought that someone whom they believed to be a rapist isn’t suitable to be on the supreme court). But all Kavanaugh did was reinforce their decision rather than maybe put some doubt in there.

                    • McFlock

                      Here’s Clarence Thomas laying it on full bore in similar circumstances. Calm, rational, angry, but in control.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Whilst I agree with much of your reasoning in this thread, the guy is clearly a pathological liar. Locus linked us to the relevant evidence of that yesterday afternoon (6.1.3.2).

                      All those college friends confirming that he was a regular drunk, and on one occasion a violent drunk who assaulted someone. The photo of his social calendar showing that he had attended an event at a private home (July 1 1982) with the same people Ford said were there also in her testimony. He denied that he’d been there, even after providing the evidence that he was there!

                      And what kind of turkey keeps their social calendar from 36 years ago anyway?? Someone seriously warped. Bet he has a complete collection from every year of his obssessive/compulsive life.

                      Then there’s the maps showing he lived in close neighbourhood proximity to her & the others despite telling the senators he lived a considerable distance away to make the event seem implausible. Then there’s him saying she said something when the actual quote from her proves he’s deliberately trying to con the senators via misrepresenting her testimony. Lying to congress is serious!! Not only unfit to be on the Supreme Court, unfit to be a judge at all. Ought to be disbarred.

                    • RedLogix

                      And what kind of turkey keeps their social calendar from 36 years ago anyway?? Someone seriously warped.

                      I just got around to reading this Dennis. Your’s is an interesting reaction. It’s not the first time I’ve seen something like this. A few years back one Gable Tostee was able to produce an audio recording which provided a crucial defense after a girl died falling from his Gold Coast apartment. At the time there was a fair bit of social media response along the same lines ‘what kind of creep keeps a recording of their dates?’

                      As a big fan of Vernor Vinge who explored the implications of ubiquitous surveillance and recording as a core plot element in several of his novels, this reaction to Tostee’s recording attracted my interest. We seem untroubled by the constant public CCTV and data gathering that public authorities and corporations engage in; yet when as individuals do it we’re prone to condemning it. Why is this?

                      Of course there was life before technology. Keeping dairies and journals is an established tradition going back to the beginnings of mass literacy. I have a small collection that erratically span my life from about 19 through to my late 20’s. My partner has many old notebooks detailing mainly business matters, appointments and contacts going back decades. Most people are too lazy and chaotic to keep good records of their lives, but some do. It’s not warped, just an uncommon trait.

                      So why is it that Kavanaugh social calendar is evidence of his unfitness for office in your mind? I could argue the exact opposite, it’s evidence of an orderly, disciplined habit that has served him well. (And one that would probably serve most of us well too. You could frame regular participation here at TS as a form of ‘life journalling’, albeit one with some peculiar constraints.)

                      Yet if Ford had been able to produce any kind of similar supporting document or recording of events, would you have similarly described her as “seriously warped”? Of course not, it would never have crossed your mind to say that. So exactly what is going on here?

                    • mpledger

                      @Redlogix said:
                      A few years back one Gable Tostee was able to produce an audio recording which provided a crucial defense after a girl died falling from his Gold Coast apartment.
                      ~~~~~~~~

                      I feel somewhat dubious about that recording. He knew the recording was happening so he could say stuff to make himself look in the right whereas she didn’t know it was on. He could have been saying “get out, get out” while pinning her down on the floor. If you listen to the tape there are some real inconsistencies between what he says and how she responds as if his words weren’t corresponding to his actions.

                      In court the recording was listened to as if everyone on the recording was oblivious to the recording taking place but Totsee wasn’t.

                      He essentially kidnapped her by putting her in a place where she couldn’t escape. He should have put her outside his door. She obviously thought nothing good was going to happen to her when the door to the balcony was going to be re-opened or else why did she take such an appalling risk to try and climb her way to escape. He should have been done for kidnapping.

            • mpledger 6.1.3.1.1.3

              Maybe there was no way to play it well, but the way he did play it was pretty bad.

        • locus 6.1.3.2

          “assume guilt by female accusation…”

          I think the question to answer in the Ford v. Kavanaugh hearing, is not about the validity of testimony based on gender – rather it is more about the testimony itself and what can be proven or disproven…

          the best analysis by far that I’ve read on this is written by Nathan Robinson:
          https://www.currentaffairs.org/2018/09/how-we-know-kavanaugh-is-lying

          • Dennis Frank 6.1.3.2.1

            Yes, an extremely impressive report! Confirms my initial impression that he was lying about the complaint. The evidence his testimony provides proves he’s actually a serial liar. Not only that, he played the senators as fools consistently by issuing fake answers – deliberate distractions to evade having to give a genuine answer – and they let him get away with it.

            • Dukeofurl 6.1.3.2.1.1

              Yes. Kavanaugh made a mistake in releasing his calendar before knowing Fords testimony. He wasnt to know that exactly the sort of event she described in some detail is sitting right there.
              So he had to lie.
              But then he had to lie about Bart O’Kavanaugh too!

    • you really have to hope the political process in our small country never becomes so deeply dysfunctional as this.

      Who says it isn’t? This is “profound and awful” especially when you consider the levels of reportage, prosecution and conviction for sexual assault and rape… and then the attacks that women who come out about their sexual assault and rape have to suffer. Christine Blasey Ford received death threats and had to go into hiding, the Orangegropenfuhrer mocked her in front of thousands who laughed and cheered (according to some here, apparently Hillary Clinton would have been no different).

      Kavanaugh was not on trial, he was at a job interview for a lifetime appointment. The burden of proof is not on the accuser, but on the candidate to prove the excellence of their character.

      This is not a split hair or an opportunity for detached hand-wringing. The left does not have to decide anything “ultimately” – that’s just kicking the can down the road. Frankly I’ve found New Zealand’s left opening dismissive and even contemptuous of women’s voices (“identity politics”). It’s time we started listening, and on a practical level, started looking at how the justice system deals with abuse, assault and rape. It has to decide now.

      No, I don’t think that the Labour Party is up to the job, certainly not when it has Greg O’Connor as an MP.

      • RedLogix 6.2.1

        By ‘listening to women’s voices’ exactly what do you think this means in practise? In the very live case we are talking about it means just one thing; that Ford’s story must be believed as the whole and complete truth, and anything Kavanaugh says must be discarded as self-serving lies.

        If you can’t see the very practical problem with this there isn’t much more I can say.

        • rhinocrates 6.2.1.1

          Indeed, it is a practical problem, embedded in the practice of investigation and prosecution. Putting Dr Ford in front of a prosecutor as if she was a criminal suspect was a deliberate cynical abuse of process, as was the strictly limited FBI investigation following.

          The fact is, the statistics of reportage, prosecution and conviction for sexual assault and rape are sickening. Clearly, in practise, the police and justice system already disproportionately suppresses women’s experience and testimony, so to imply that there is equivalence now and any change would risk biasing against men is naive, since it’s biased against women already. This is not something to be put in the too hard basket.

          I find it also disappointing that there is such a low ratio of women’s voices on The Standard. I do feel uncomfortable with my exclusively male experience talking about the need to listen to women when clearly it is not a welcoming environment for them.

          This place really is a sausage party. Something needs to be done about that.

          • RedLogix 6.2.1.1.1

            Something needs to be done about that.

            Use the same method as your legal logic; silence or discard the sausages. That should work.

            • rhinocrates 6.2.1.1.1.1

              It’s not either-or or zero-sum. It’s “Why aren’t you being heard/dare to speak and what can be done to change that?” I don’t have an answer, I want to hear one.

              • RedLogix

                It’s not either-or or zero-sum.

                Well yes I’m absolutely with you on that. You say you despair of TS, yet this is is precisely what I’ve grappled with here for years. Identity politics played precisely for zero -sum gain.

                OK so I’ve posited a binary choice here; either we go with automatic guilt by association (and I assume I don’t have to spell out the problems with that) OR our evolved common law due process (that clearly struggles with sexual offences). If we don’t like either of these what options do we have?

                In the past I’ve somewhat mischievously suggested 24/7/365 ubiquitous surveillance and recording of every human word and action their entire lives. OK so that has some obvious problems too, especially when it comes to sex.

                Other societies dealt with this by strictly segregating the genders. Others resorted to using a ready supply of stones or kerosene lying about. OK so that’s not nice either.

                My point is the way we’re playing the game right now; it’s not entirely clear how we can get past this zero-sum nastiness we seem to be stuck in right now.

                • Justice is an attitude and a practice, not a physical resource. There is no reason why it should be characterised as zero-sum.

                  Giving rights to a woman does not take rights away from a worker unless you exclude women from the category of workers… and yet as has been pointed out by Marilyn Waring in her book, Counting for Nothing and many other writers, women’s work provides a foundation for the economy and all work that has not been acknowledged monetarily, so if you talk about justice in economic terms, then you must consider the hidden foundation of that economy – and the same goes for the environment, of which the economy is at most a small subset. The assumption that there is a generic ideal worker is in fact social hegemony.

                  None of us can, or would want to be, reduced to one characteristic, but everyone who is repressed by an oppressive system because of being pigeonholed has to respond as a woman, as a POC, or as queer, as neuroatypical or whatever.

                  The clue, I think, is in the concept of intersectionality, a term common in radical practice now – one has an identity in connection with a cause, in relation to other people. Considering that oppression works by separating people into categories and limiting their lives, the assertion of identity is a necessary tactic while intersectionality connects the tactics of each sector into an overall strategy of justice. Think of a mosaic making a picture rather than a bland slab of concrete.

                  I hope that helps.

  7. cleangreen 7

    rhinocrates said;

    “No, I don’t think that the Labour Party is up to the job.”

    So rhinocrates; – who do you advocate to take over as our next protector of our democracy if you say ” I don’t think that the Labour Party is up to the job”????

    Evidence and citations please?

    • I don’t know. I’m not an optimist. “Cometh the hour, cometh the (wo)man” perhaps.

      I refer you to O’Connor’s many published statements statements on behalf of the Police Association during the Louise Nicholas – related investigation. A man who aggressively attacked and dragged his feet over work to put his house in order after police officers had been – against all odds – found guilty of serial rape and their colleagues deliberately aided and covered up is not someone who will lend credibility to a party dealing with this issue.

      As far as I know, George Soros had nothing to do with it, but I guess you’ll find a connection.

  8. David Mac 8

    I think the New York Times exposing Trump as a tax evading fraudster will hurt him like no previous unsavoury exposure has. It’s his thing, ‘I’m a self-made billionaire’ is at the centre of his extraordinary ego. Turns out the 1 million dollar loan from his Dad was a 1000 million dollar gift. Made by his dying Dad after years of dodgy attempts to bail out Donald’s failing business ventures time and time again.

    As Mickey says, Donald would be much richer if he’d focused on hunting pornstars and spent his inheritance on Government bonds.

  9. I think the New York Times exposing Trump as a tax evading fraudster will hurt him like no previous unsavoury exposure has.

    I’m doubtful. People who view taxes as inherently unfair will only see this as proof of his cleverness. Never underestimate the power of cognitive dissonance.

    One important thing to remember about Trump’s base is that while it’s a minority in the US overall, it has critical power in the party primaries and is able to block any candidate who does not toe their line. The Tea Party was used by Gingrich back in the 90s to similar effect to control the Republican party and turn it hyper-partisan. His successor as Senate Majority leader, McConnell, is simply following the same strategy. That base is well aware of the demographic shift happening in the US now and the Supreme Court is their means to legislatively “battening down the hatches” as the country goes through fundamental change. McConnell knows this, and that’s who he plays to. In the long run, it may doom the Republican Party to irrelevance or ever-more extreme positions including violence.

    • Macro 9.1

      One important thing to remember about Trump’s base is that while it’s a minority in the US overall, it has critical power in the party primaries and is able to block any candidate who does not toe their line.

      QFT

      Republican approval ratings for Trump have been constantly around the 90% mark since he took office – this including Charlottesville, the separation of immigrant children, the poor handling of Hurricane Maria etc.
      Very good analysis showing that Brett Kavanaugh proves the Never Trump movement was a sham all along here.

      • rhinocrates 9.1.1

        While Zimbardo’s Stanford Prison Experiment has lately come under some criticism, it seems that history has replicated his findings perfectly.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stanford_prison_experiment

        The inspiration was Milgram’s studies on obedience, but instead of obedience, I think it really addresses enablement.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milgram_experiment

        See also:

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Third_Wave_(experiment)

        (Nothing to do with Alvin and Heidi Toffler)

        Ethical rules prevent academics from trying these experiments now, but of course Trump has no such concern. Some people’s warnings are other people’s instruction manuals.

        • Macro 9.1.1.1

          An interesting article along the same lines appeared in Vox today!

          Usually, comparisons between Donald Trump’s America and Nazi Germany come from cranks and internet trolls. But a new essay in the New York Review of Books pointing out “troubling similarities” between the 1930s and today is different: It’s written by Christopher Browning, one of America’s most eminent and well-respected historians of the Holocaust. In it, he warns that democracy here is under serious threat, in the way that German democracy was prior to Hitler’s rise — and really could topple altogether.

          Browning, a professor emeritus at the University of North Carolina, specializes in the origins and operation of Nazi genocide. His 1992 book Ordinary Men, a close examination of how an otherwise unremarkable German police battalion evolved into an instrument of mass slaughter, is widely seen as one of the defining works on how typical Germans became complicit in Nazi atrocities.

          https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/10/5/17940610/trump-hitler-history-historian

          • rhinocrates 9.1.1.1.1

            Indeed. If Godwin’s offended, tough cheese. However, I find Hitler and Trump to be utterly uninteresting as personalities. I’m more appalled by those who facilitate their rise to power. There are those who think that they can use such demagogues to serve their own ends (Steves Bannon and Miller and of obviously McConnell, the TV executives who think that Trump is good for ratings), there are the desperate people abandoned by those who should serve them (there is, supposedly, a Chinese proverb that goes, “A man dying of thirst will drink poisoned water”). There are also the obedient who are enabled in their own sadism: https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2018/10/the-cruelty-is-the-point/572104/ Then there are the decadents who pretend to some sort of lofty detachment and say that “they” are all the same and callously think of the victims as mere collateral damage and refuse to oppose their atrocities.

            The tragedy is that evil is not perpetrated by Dark Lords like Sauron or Palpatine. Pretenders to that status are two a penny, but now and again, one will be enabled by millions of active and passive facilitators.

          • rhinocrates 9.1.1.1.2

            Interesting the comparison between McConnell and Hindenburg. It’s very easy to think of both as flammable gasbags.

  10. locus 10

    ….these events in the US are succinctly explained in John Raulston Saul’s brilliant perspective on the death of democracy in the US. Summarised Here:
    https://www.truthdig.com/articles/america-the-failed-state/

    • Thanks for the link. Good to see what John Ralston Saul is up these days. I second Hedges’ recommendation of Voltaire’s Bastards – it’s still very timely now.

  11. adam 11

    Just for the record stuff trump and stuff talking about him.

    This was way more important – becasue tonight at least Chicago does not burn.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-10-06/jason-van-dyke-chicago-police-convicted-murder-laquan-mcdonald/10346276

  12. joe90 12

    Scary AF article parallels the early 20th and 21st centuries,and compares Mitch McConnell to Paul von Hindenburg.

    If the US has someone whom historians will look back on as the gravedigger of American democracy, it is Mitch McConnell. He stoked the hyperpolarization of American politics to make the Obama presidency as dysfunctional and paralyzed as he possibly could. As with parliamentary gridlock in Weimar, congressional gridlock in the US has diminished respect for democratic norms, allowing McConnell to trample them even more. Nowhere is this vicious circle clearer than in the obliteration of traditional precedents concerning judicial appointments. Systematic obstruction of nominations in Obama’s first term provoked Democrats to scrap the filibuster for all but Supreme Court nominations. Then McConnell’s unprecedented blocking of the Merrick Garland nomination required him in turn to scrap the filibuster for Supreme Court nominations in order to complete the “steal” of Antonin Scalia’s seat and confirm Neil Gorsuch. The extreme politicization of the judicial nomination process is once again on display in the current Kavanaugh hearings.

    https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2018/10/25/suffocation-of-democracy/

    snap *Macro*

  13. Philj 13

    “There is so much extraordinary news that comes out of America each week.”
    Really? I wouldn’t call it news. I would call it ****.

  14. We haven’t heard from Wayne on this issue, have we? Only crickets. Misogyny and bullying by privileged fratboys in the legal profession should be something he would know all about with all his sinecures and the knowledge that they would have given him. Considering recent scandal here in New Zealand, it’s relevant locally, and relevant to him and National Party colleagues’ attention to the issue. I’d love to hear what he learned and what he did to stop it.

    Come on Wayne, what have you got to say for yourself?

  15. … ‘ There is so much extraordinary news that comes out of America each week ‘ …

    Damn right – ( Rebel Proud ) !

    Hank Williams III-Gutter Stomp – YouTube

  16. joe90 17

    Rudi’s whistling.

    The president’s lawyer and former NYC Mayor @RudyGiuliani just retweeted a tweet calling billionaire George Soros the anti-Christ whose assets should be frozen. pic.twitter.com/RAaCGzfHyL— andrew kaczynski🧐 (@KFILE) October 6, 2018

    https://www.mediaite.com/trump/rudy-giuliani-touts-call-to-freeze-assets-of-anti-christ-george-soros/

  17. joe90 18

    Seen on the net.

    Supreme Court Nominations Senate Votes:
    Kavanaugh: 50-48
    Gorsuch 54-45
    Garland n/a
    Kagan 63-37
    Sotomayor 68-31
    Alito 58-42
    Miers n/a
    Roberts 78-22
    Breyer 87-9
    Ginsburg 96-3
    Thomas 52-48

    Hmm, what do those two have in common? I can’t quite place it.

  18. Infused 19

    Guilty until proven innocent it seems now. A allegation from 30 to 40 years ago that no witnesses are backing up. Its turning into a trial by media. The metoo movement is becoming unhinged.

    • McFlock 19.1

      Delivering tired cliches and untruths well after the vote has been taken? Good for you. Totally “hinged” behaviour, that. Night night.

  19. Philj 20

    Gee whiz. Folks on here have missed the main event, your time and attention has been stolen before your eyes. The MSM have done it again! Dang.

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