Excellent Read: “Kavanaugh & the Blackout Theory”

First, some comforting news — everyone can read Paul Bronks’ twitter feed again!


 
I guess Saturday night is either the worst or the best time to post these links. The Washington Post has an article (from an ex-Yale prof!) warning Many teens drink. Rich ones like Kavanaugh are more likely to abuse alcohol. Affluence is a risk factor for dangerous behavior”.

In the NYTimes, Sarah Hepola:

One of the trickiest things about blackouts is that you don’t necessarily know you’re having one. I wrote a memoir, so centered around the slips of memory caused by heavy drinking that it is actually called “Blackout,” and in the years since its 2015 release, I’ve heard from thousands of people who experienced them. No small number of those notes contain some version of this: “For years, I was having blackouts without knowing what they were.” Blackouts are like a philosophical riddle inside a legal conundrum: If you can’t remember a thing, how do you know it happened?…

There are two kinds of blackouts. The more common is fragmentary, where slivers of the night are missing. The more extreme version is “en bloc,” where several hours can be wiped from the memory drive. Fragmentary blackouts start at a blood alcohol concentration of about 0.2, though they’ve been found at lower levels; everyone’s brain is different. En bloc blackouts happen closer to 0.3, and it’s worth noting that at 0.35, it is estimated that about half of drinkers will die, so blackout drinkers are getting up there.

A common bonding experience in drinking circles is “piecing the night together”— friends sitting around the next day, laughing as they scroll through text messages and camera rolls, trying to fill in the gaps in one another’s memories. Some of the missing dots are easy to connect: Oh, that’s right, we went to the bar! Others might be confounding: Wait, we went to a BAR?

“Piecing things together” is a phrase that jumped out at me when I read Judge Kavanaugh’s 2014 speech to the Yale Law School Federalist Society, in which he describes drunken heroics as a routine part of campus life; Senator Richard Blumenthal also leapt on this at the hearing, although Judge Kavanaugh deflected the inquiry, as he did every question about any possible dark side to his consumption…

It wasn’t until this century that scientists really understood blackouts. For generations, experts thought they were the exclusive realm of alcoholics, a sign of troubled late-stage drinking. But non-problem drinkers black out all the time. In fact, that kind of drinker would be a good candidate for someone who might remain ignorant of their blackouts. You see this in sexual assault cases: A woman believes she passed out the night before, but she actually blacked out, leaving untold minutes or hours unaccounted for in her memory bank. This is hellishly confusing — because to the person who wakes up not remembering what happened, it feels like you must have been asleep. Disrupting that assumption requires some contrary piece of evidence: Cuts and bruises, strange clothes you don’t recall putting on, a friend’s testimony, surveillance footage. Today’s young people are more aware of their own blackouts — in part because scientists have gained insight about them, allowing media stories to spread, but also because those kids carry around phones that record everything they do, making disconnect. Wait, when did I type THAT? Wait, when was THAT picture taken? Previous generations simply did not carry such handy data collection services in their pockets…

… I consider it nothing but a gift of biology, or temperament, or sexual dynamics that I never had to worry I had physically or sexually assaulted anyone in a blackout. I worried I was rude. I worried I was weird, dumb, deathly unsexy. As I grew older, and more risk-taking, I worried I’d had sex with someone I didn’t know, a not-uncommon experience in my own daily calendar. But I have known men who drank too much, and I have loved them, and this is a fear that beats in their private hearts. I hope I didn’t hurt her. I interviewed a blackout expert for my book, and he told me something I’ve never forgotten: “When men are in a blackout, they do things to the world. When women are in a blackout, things are done to them.”

I suspect we’ll never know whether Brett Kavanaugh experienced blackouts as a young drinker. I suspect he’ll never know, because what I took from the man at his hearing was that he was not interested in going there. Those days are gone; he has closed the door on that era. But as a wise man once said, just because we are done with the past doesn’t mean the past is done with us. You can ask Christine Blasey Ford about that. You can ask Mark Judge. I bet both of them would have a few things to say about the way memories splinter and implant in the body. How the past lives inside us, guides us, owns us. I have often wondered what the body remembers even as the mind forgets. And then there are other things. The ones that will and never can be forgotten.






199 replies
  1. 1
    debbue says:

    Paul Bronks is a treasure.

    It wasn’t until I got to college that I learned you didn’t have to drink until you threw up or passed out. It was a real revelation.

  2. 2
    debbie says:

    Gah. Typo in my name!

  3. 3
    Jerzy Russian says:

    Everyone should have a tap dancing pet. Unfortunately for me, the dance lessons that I am giving the cat are not yet sticking.

  4. 4
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @debbie: I was wondering about that. I’ve just gotten in from leg day and am now scrubbed free of grime and detritus. I’m going to go make and eat dinner and then rack out, so try not to get stuck in moderation again as I’m likely to not be around to free you.

    (sung to the tune of Taps):

    Leg day is done, Squat Rack has won,
    As did deadlifts, abductors, toe raises.
    All is sore, fitful rests, pain is nigh.

  5. 5
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jerzy Russian: Or, conversely, the cat’s supervision of your dance practice is paying off in that you’re now a better dancer.

  6. 6
    jl says:

    Funny coincidence that this post came up just as I finished a comment on previous on on same subject.

    I’ve been able to bear to watch a minute or so of clips from this mess. The first one was Kavanaugh asking, I think, Mitchell, that hadn’t she ever drunk to the point of a black out and losing her memory. And I thought “OMFG, is this for real, am I seeing this, have I gone nuts?” I think she was very professional in answering that she did not have a drinking problem.

    I would have responded “I’ve been shit face dry heave drunk a few times in my life. But drinking to black out for ‘party’ and ‘fun’? Are you nuts? Of course not. That is crazy.’

    But, looks like a lot of rich kids live crazy lives.

    I also watched a few seconds of Kavanaugh’s freakout about how all this was revenge for his very important and judicial harassment of the Clintons. But I couldn’t watch the whole thing. It is too disturbing to me, seriously disturbing, for me to follow this in real time. My two CA Senators are doing good work, so I’ll just maybe make a few more calls to possible no votes. Otherwise, just not good for my mental and emotional health to follow this mess very closely. I’ve seen and know enough to make strong arguments in my phone calls,, for whatever good they might do.

  7. 7
    Jerzy Russian says:

    @Adam L Silverman: He (the cat) can’t yet dance, but he is funny when he suddenly tries to accelerate on the wood floors and can’t.

  8. 8
    debbie says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Thanks! My mistake is that I think I can type!

  9. 9

    @Adam L Silverman: I do the waltz with my boss cat. He likes it for about 2 minutes then jumps off by clawing me.

  10. 10
  11. 11
    Ruviana says:

    @jl: It was Sen. Klobichar that he was sparring with. It was one of his ruder moments in a performance filled with them.

  12. 12
    debbie says:

    @jl:

    My local NPR station ran the hearings live (impressive, considering they were in the middle of their fund drive), so I listened to them all day long. My head really snapped up at his mention of the Clintons. Someone walking by asked if I was okay, it was that noticeable.

    I knew I didn’t like him, but when he said that, I knew he would destroy the Court if he got on it. He’d use his power for revenge, to cause pain to others. He’d be Erik Erickson with a poundy thing. He’d be Trump in a long black robe.

  13. 13
    debbie says:

    @Ruviana:

    Yes, considering she has family members that are alcoholics.

  14. 14
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Jerzy Russian:

    Everyone should have a tap dancing pet. Unfortunately for me, the dance lessons that I am giving the cat are not yet sticking.

    One reason I laughed so hard at the tweet is that a friend once referred to their dogs’ anxious foot-pattering on the kitchen tile at dinner time as “the tap dance of gratitude.”

    I guess the feline equivalent — stropping against the human’s leg, with or without purring / meowing — could be called “the pole dance of gratitude”?

  15. 15
    debbie says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    He looks more like a furry bouquet to me.

  16. 16
    jl says:

    @Ruviana: Thanks for info. And thanks for verifying that I was not hallucinating. It is truly a surreal and disgusting situation.
    The FBI should be able to uncover evidence that Kavanaugh told some whoppers in his testimony, from accounts I’ve read on TPM blog. I ain’t coming anywhere near exposing myself to the sewage going on in the Senate than reading after the fact summaries.

    As I mentioned before, I was victim of one threatening, and one violent attempt at molestation as a teen. And a strong arm robbery attempt. Being a large guy who can do damage, they were attempts and no physical damage was done to me. But they were big deals, psychologically. But the attitude I see among those in power, the ruthlessness is frightening. I can only imagine what this miserable circus is doing to people who have experienced worse. And then there is the issue of still a good chance this mess, or something very similar, will get on SCOTUS.

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Ruviana says:

    @debbie: Yes, and that too. Made it worse.

  19. 19
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    He looks very safe and secure.

  20. 20
    smintheus says:

    NBC is reporting that Trump has severely limited the parameters of the investigation of Kavanaugh. The WH sent the FBI a list of people whom they are permitted to speak to, and evidently anybody on that list is off limits. The FBI also is not permitted to investigate anything other than the accusations made by Ford and by Ramirez. Thus not interview with Swetnick or with Kavanaugh’s Yale classmates who are familiar with his drinking problems.

    Instead of investigating Swetnick’s claims, the White House counsel’s office has given the FBI a list of witnesses they are permitted to interview, according to several people who discussed the parameters on the condition of anonymity. They characterized the White House instructions as a significant constraint on the FBI investigation and caution that such a limited scope, while not unusual in normal circumstances, may make it difficult to pursue additional leads in a case in which a Supreme Court nominee has been accused of sexual assault.

    The limited scope seems to be at odds with what some members of the Senate judiciary seemed to expect when they agreed to give the FBI as much as a week to investigate allegations against Kavanaugh…

    Who could have predicted that Republicans conceding the need for a thorough investigation did not actually mean conceding the need for a thorough investigation?

  21. 21
    zhena gogolia says:

    @smintheus:

    As I said below, for my sanity I am going to try to avoid imaginatively micromanaging the FBI investigation this week. I need a break.

  22. 22
    Ruviana says:

    @jl: So much of it seemed unbelievable, like what @debbie said about his remark about the Clintons. I told my brother that and he initially didn’t believe it. With Klobuchar you watched thinking, no is he really saying that? For me, I could tell he was furious the minute he walked into the room. I never saw someone put pencils and a notepad on a table with such rage!

  23. 23

    @Ruviana: yeah, that interaction between the two of them was the first video of the testimony I watched, and I thought, holy hell, he is absolutely an alcoholic.

  24. 24
    debbie says:

    @Major Major Major Major:

    In a good way! Bouquets are beautiful!

  25. 25
  26. 26
    TS (the original) says:

    @Ruviana: It was indeed – he was supposed to be answering questions – not asking senators about their drinking habits

  27. 27
    Barbara says:

    @debbie: He should have a very bad conscience when it comes to Vince Foster’s family. He basically tortured his children. Nothing that has happened to him begins to compare.

  28. 28
    Immanentize says:

    Kananaugh’s anger act had an audience of one — Trump. Consider everything he did and said in that light. It is like dream analysis — the aspects of the dream that seem real are stand ins for subconscious meanderings.

    Kavanaugh was triggering Miranda

  29. 29

    From Trump’s West by god Virginia rally tonight – this is the tweet everyone is boggling at.

  30. 30
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    even blind (and crackpot) squirrels can find this nut

    Megan McArdle @ asymmetricinfo
    The White House is making a terrible mistake, both morally and politically. Restricting the investigation won’t keep embarrassing facts from surfacing if they’re out there, and it will undercut the moral high ground they’ve seized by investigating.

  31. 31
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: heard on NPR in the car five minutes ago that a high ranking North Korean official (foreign minister?) speaking at the UN said that NK will never give up its nukes as long as it can’t trust the United States. I gonna guess they’ll never say they can trust the US.

  32. 32
    Emma says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Holy Goddess (yes, I am religiously regressing or something). We’re on a runaway train driven by an insane narcissist.

  33. 33
    OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: So he’s confirmed the gay love affair?

  34. 34
    Schlemazel says:

    @Ruviana:
    Her dad was a columnist for the old Minneapolis paper. A regular guy and good writer. He did several stories about the decision to go through spin dry.. I worked with Amy’s sister and she had addiction problems (she died of AIDS-related illnesses in the mid-80s. She was a good person too but the demons caught her. I was stunned that Amy didn’t open fire on him for that stunt.

  35. 35

    @OzarkHillbilly: LOL, that was what I thought.

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Yes, a North Korean speech at the UN today confirmed what we already know. Their position, as they’re putting it forth, is actually not unreasonable. The way you build trust after years of hostility is for each side to take a step, followed by a step by the other side, until you get to something like trust.

    North Korea has cut the process short in the past. But Trump has given them the high ground, and they’re making the most of it.

  36. 36
    Immanentize says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: how is the shoulder?

  37. 37
    Gravenstone says:

    @Schlemazel: When he went there, my first thought was someone had coached him to attack Sen. Klobuchar if she raised the issue of his drinking.

  38. 38
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Ruviana: When he had the nerve to ask her if she was ever black out drunk. Her response was way too polite.

  39. 39
    Ruviana says:

    @Patricia Kayden: Absolutely. I am a recovering alcoholic and I had so many other possible responses to him. Good thing I’m not a senator.

  40. 40

    @Patricia Kayden: @Ruviana: Jeet Heer had some tweets yesterday about how that’s exactly how one delicately asks an alcoholic about their drinking when one has much family experience.

  41. 41
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @smintheus: Just a quick note on this and then I’m going offline for a while:

    1) This, like every other one of these too cute by half maneuvers they pull, is going to blow up in their faces. This actually increases the pressure on Flake, not reduces it. Flake made it clear that the only limit on the investigation was a week, which isn’t actually a problem for the FBI when conducting a priority Special Presidential (Directed Background) Investigation (SPIN). Basically they’re humiliating Flake. That didn’t work out so well for them last week. Flake and Coons are appearing together on 60 Minutes tomorrow night and I guarantee they’ll be asked about this.

    2) You wan’t to make Avenatti go away or, at least, chill him out as much as possible. This has just pissed him off more. He’s already scheduled to appear with his client on at least one Sunday show tomorrow. I realize that McGahn has gotten used to dealing with the walking dead that have been the President’s legal team over the past 19 months or so, but Avenatti is in a whole different league than past their primes Dowd and Giuliani and a never was like Sekulow. All they’ve done is waved a big red flag in front of an already angry bull. They seem to have forgotten that he already set the conditions that ended with Michael Cohen pleading guilty in Federal court in an allocution that inames the President as his unindicted co-conspirator.

    Just as they completely misplayed their hand over and over and over again last week, they’ve decided to get a head start on doing so next week.

    As I’ve written here several times, there is a lot of time between now and next Friday. And then there will be a lot of time between the initial procedural vote by the whole Senate and when they hold the final vote 72 hours later. Every time these morons have a chance to actually help themselves by not making things worse, their instinct is to make things worse.

  42. 42
    jl says:

    @Ruviana: Well, my idea of a binge is more than a glass or two a wine a week. I remember a while back when drinking a an ounce or two or red wine a day was supposed to be good for your health, and I couldn’t get through that little health program for a week, even when taking it with dinner, without getting sick of that damn red wine medicine every day.

    But, I think I had the same reaction you did. Just that question alone said to me that the guy has several problems that should keep him out of any court as a judge. And I read on TPM blog that he asked her repeatedly about it, Like he was trying to get some verification that kind of drinking was anywhere near normal. Seems like something going on with it that is not just youthful indiscretion. I guess we are getting into GW Bush dry drunk territory, except GW Bush can at least stay dry (through probably not all they way through his failed presidency).

  43. 43
    Mary G says:

    This:

    We haven't begun to purge the sexual abusers from the media, to say nothing of the sexual discriminators, but let's also not forget the fail-the-fuck-up white boys who are terrible writers and thinkers and pull down insane money because we'll be coming for you too.— Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) September 29, 2018

    Meanwhile STFU and stop talking about things you have decided to never know about. Take a bench. You ignorant fucksters.— Clara Jeffery (@ClaraJeffery) September 29, 2018

    I am in burn it all down mode today.

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I realize that not everyone finds the First Lady attractive, but he’s really trading down for the 4th Mrs. Trump.

  45. 45

    @Ruviana: His exchange with Klobuchar outraged me. Who the hell does he think he is? He can’t treat a US Senator doing her job with respect?

  46. 46
    Mnemosyne says:

    He wasn’t blacked out when he attacked Christine Blasey Ford. He remembers it and knows he did it, which is why he was able to tip McGahn off that they would need to do a “cuddly family man” PR campaign to counteract any sexual assault allegations. That’s why they just happened to know how to reach 65 women who knew Kavanaugh in high school when the story broke.

    He’s pissed off that this bitch is trying to derail his nomination when he didn’t even penetrate her, and that ugly rage is showing.

  47. 47
    Dr. Ronnie James, D.O. says:

    @debbue: yeah, one of my parents best pieces of advice was sitting me down before college and explaining just that, specifically how to nurse a beer. Thx mom and dad.

  48. 48
    brettvk says:

    I’m probably not the only person who was once intimately acquainted with an active alcoholic, who recognized a lot of Kavanaugh’s performance on Thursday. Not all alcoholics are abusive, I’m sure, but if you’ve spent time with one the patterns don’t leave your memory.

  49. 49
    joel hanes says:

    @Anne Laurie:

    the pole dance of gratitude

    Ankle polishing.

    Mine are quite shiny, thank you.

  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Right now Mother has ordered the Vice President back into the gimp suit as punishment.//

  51. 51
    Jager says:

    I’ve blacked out once, a college girlfriend told me she thought she was pregnant. A pal of my dad owned a nice steakhouse. He was somebody I could talk to at 21 (just turned 21) I knew Kenny liked to tend bar in the afternoon. I went in, ordered a beer and told him what was going on. He said, “A man’s problem requires a man’s drink, he poured me whiskey for hours. I woke up the next morning on the floor by my bed, I looked out of the apartment window and my car was in the lot with the driver’s door open. Neither the car or I had a scratch. I have no idea how I got home. I went to work that day on a steel construction job and suffered a hangover for the ages. And the pregnancy was a false alarm.

  52. 52
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Mary G:

    “That’s why I took the form of a 45-year-old white man. I can only fail up.”

    Spoken by a high-ranking demon named Shawn on “The Good Place.”

  53. 53
    jl says:

    Then there was Kavanaugh’s bizarre conspiracy diatribe. I hope, even with a limited FBI investigation over a week, he’s told enough fibs, big and small, that their report will cause enough damage to sink the nomination. but, then on to the next wingnut even so. Gotta say, this has be very down and in the dumps, and I am rarely this depressed about the Trumpster situation. I figure, barring a hot war, economic, diplomatic, trade relationships, a lot can go wrong during a Trump term and we can recover.

    But a nightmare like this on the SCOTUS, or a war. That is serious serious damage. So, has me shaken.
    McConnell has burned the old Senate and old rules down, And Ryan and his predecessors have done similar with the House. When/if the Democrats take control again, simply impossible for them to ignore what has happened and retain a functioning democracy. Will they have the guts to recognize that they have to rebuild, and that they are dealing with an utterly ruthless opposition that lacks any principle at all except wielding power?

  54. 54

    I’ve always heard those ‘partial blackout’ things referred to as ‘brown-outs’, by the way.

    @Mnemosyne: …spoilers…

  55. 55

    @jl:

    As I mentioned before, I was victim of one threatening, and one violent attempt at molestation as a teen. And a strong arm robbery attempt. Being a large guy who can do damage, they were attempts and no physical damage was done to me. But they were big deals, psychologically. But the attitude I see among those in power, the ruthlessness is frightening. I can only imagine what this miserable circus is doing to people who have experienced worse.

    There are many, many, many women who are on the verge right now….

    Not just from incidents in their own pasts resurfacing — despite their best efforts over the years to compartmentalize, because that’s what women have done — but also from the secondary trauma of all the sharing that’s going on between women. I belong to a Facebook book group for women over 40 and the stories are beyond horrifying.

    And if it wasn’t bad enough, there’s been a spate of women I know who’ve been contacted in recent weeks by the men who assaulted them. At best, the ones who are genuinely contrite are asking women to do emotional labor of forgiving them and easing their guilt.

    The future isn’t female, it’s female* incandescent rage.

    On a related note, a photographer friend of mine who shoots a lot of burlesque shows said that one thing he noticed about Kavanaugh during the hearing is that he’d momentarily drop his “angry face” whenever he’d consult his notes. Failing to maintain facial expressions is a common problems he sees in budding performers. Not saying definitively part of Kavanaugh’s emotions were a performance (for an audience of one), but…

    *As someone who’s a women who wasn’t born female, it’s really women’s incandescent rage, but I’m playing off the phase. (And yes #metoo. More than once, and the worst incident was specifically because I was a trans woman.)

  56. 56
    Uncle Cosmo says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: If I’m Michael Avenetti, I’m having affidavits drafted for & signed by my client & corroborating witnesses & I’m dropping them at FBI HQ Monday morning, followed by a press conference. Same for the other accusers to the extent opponents of Blackout Brett can scramble up the legal resources. If the investigators are annoyed by Shitgibbon’s restrictions on who they can question they can include this unsolicited testimony as appendices – & then note that they were not allowed to interview the witnesses or otherwise establish their veracity.

  57. 57

    Twitter is having a lot of fun with that quote.

  58. 58

    @Sister Golden Bear: Every women’s group I’ve been in the past week or so has discussed #MeToo and their experiences. It’s much worse than I thought. I’ve been lucky and had no more than several minor assaults plus the continuing harassment.

  59. 59
    YetAnotherJay formerly (Jay S) says:

    @Gravenstone:

    someone had coached him to attack Sen. Klobuchar if she raised the issue of his drinking.

    When Sheldon Whitehouse asked him about drinking he questioned him back about drinking. I think that is part of a reflexive verbal jiu-jitsu on his part to put the questioner back about his drinking. OTOH he hit back fairly hard with her, so maybe he was primed, or maybe it was just later in the day and she was cutting pretty close to the bone. I can’t believe this was from debate practice since it played so badly. OTOH this is the gang that can’t do anything straight.

  60. 60
    caring and sensitive says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That made me actually laugh out loud. (Scared the cat)

  61. 61
    MisterForkbeard says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: “The moral high ground they’ve seized” by being forced to investigate or the vote will fail? Fuck off, McArdle.

  62. 62
    JWL says:

    Not long ago, a comedian my age got a laugh from me when he said, “When I was in high school, the designated driver was the guy that hadn’t vomited yet”.

    I drank beer in high school, and for decades afterwards, and “suffered” exactly one blackout in all that time. I’d been at a party and woke up the next morning at home, and could not remember where I parked my car the night before. I had to park on the street in a the residential neighborhood back then, and that morning needed to circle the block to find the car. I was 21 and a lucky, damn fool. But that was it, the one and only time. Otherwise, I was-who-I-was when I drank to excess, and at times I was damned obnoxious, no doubt. But I can honestly say I never abused, attacked, much less sexually assaulted, anyone in all the years I drank. Which makes perfect sense. I don’t do that to people when I’m sober, either.

    Kavenaugh is a hopeless liar, just as Dr. Ford is a bona fide American hero. It really is as simple as that.

  63. 63
  64. 64
    opiejeanne says:

    @debbie: Can someone tel me what Kavanaugh said about the Clintons during the hearing? I missed it.

  65. 65
    randy khan says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    the moral high ground they’ve seized by investigating.

    I suppose it’s high in comparison to the Marianas Trench-level position they were in, but not really by any other standard.

  66. 66
    zhena gogolia says:

    @opiejeanne:

    Something about how this whole thing was a conspiracy by the Democrats and the Clintons taking revenge on him. I’m sure some clever person here can find the exact quotation. And all spoken in a voice of fake rage.

  67. 67
    lurker dean says:

    @Adam L Silverman: thanks for this, adam, i needed the reality check. very good point about avenatti. he’s over the top but he has consistently backed up his talk.

  68. 68
    Duane says:

    Another basic qualification Calendar Boy doesn’t meet: sober as a judge.

  69. 69
    germy says:

    According to his calendar, Calendar Boy was grounded for two weeks.

    Wonder what he did to earn that.

  70. 70
    jl says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: Thanks for sharing that. Being a big guy who can defend himself well enough, for the violent molestation attempt, the attacker got by far the worst of it. I don’t think I even had a scratch. I was very shaken up for a while, of course. I didn’t feel any guilt at all like somehow i brought in on myself. That asshole started it, I was just standing there, for God’s sake, and I did what I needed to do to keep him away. So, his problem he got some lumps.

    But even for me, seeing this mess leaves me shaken and brings back those memories. Why? My guess right now, typing this out, is that witnessing this, and this nomination being shoved through in this ruthless rotten corrupt way, shows that the powers the run this country believe that using ruthless force to get what you want is OK. It is just perfectly fine with them, and that is how they will conduct themselves if they retain power. So, I guess for me, connecting that current truth about what our rulers think what is permitted in our society and that may shape all of our lives in the future, to the memories of that attack, and what that can mean very personally for each and every one of us, that just sends chills down my spine.

    And it is unexpected for me, to be honest. As a guy, in the past, I felt like I could shrug it off, and say, all big strong guy like “Yah, some jerk tried something with me once. That as a mistake, and his face looked funny for a while. Ha ha.” But, suddenly, I can’t think about it that way now.

    So, as I said, I need to count my blessings and have empathy for those who have experienced far worse.

  71. 71
    Gozer says:

    @jl: I think this more than most things is a major divide among those on the left. In my own family I see a division as it relates to norms, etc. that seems to exist around the age of 45. Those of us younger than 45 could care less at this point about things like tone or preserving norms and simply want to see the GoP ground into dust. Those older than 45 (mostly those much older) still have what I consider to be a naive attachment to how business was done back in the day.

    And I should add that this is a family mostly of PoC and mostly very, very liberal/progressive. Most of us who are younger Gen-Xers or Millennials are fully in fuck-your-feelings mode. Almost all of us became politically aware at various points in the 90s so all we’ve seen is the GoP act like irredeemable shitheels. We have no memory of republicans who might vote for civil rights or sound environmental policies. To us the republican party is represented by Gingrich, Cheney, Bush, Trump, Giuliani, Kavanaugh, Carlson, etc. We don’t want ruthlessness in politics necessarily, but that’s what they’ve chosen and to us that’s what it has to be.

  72. 72
    debbie says:

    @opiejeanne:

    From The Hill:

    This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups,” a seething Kavanaugh said.

  73. 73
  74. 74
    Ruckus says:

    @lurker dean:
    Is he really over the top if he brings the goods? Sure he’s a bit, maybe a lot showy, but he’s come through to support his mouth. And we are talking about people who never do that, shitgibbon and BK. They bullshit and then forget the shovel to get themselves out from under. MA seems to me to never be bullshitting about legal stuff, he brings the heat.

  75. 75
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Sister Golden Bear:

    Oh, his anger was definitely a performance. Alcoholic rage usually is, because it’s an attempt to get the victim to accept blame for the alcoholic’s actions. I’m not the only one who recognized the tactic, or who thinks that Kavanaugh had a swig or two of liquid courage before he went into the room.

    And, yeah, the secondary trauma. Even leaving aside the stories people have shared here, actress Ellen Barkin has a couple of comments on her Twitter feed about her past abusive partners crying while they beat her that broke my damn heart.

  76. 76
    Rand Careaga says:

    So I admit that this is grandstanding, but I printed out and mailed this to Jeff Flake today:

    Dear Senator Flake—

    I am obviously not a constituent of yours, and my disapprobation from out here in blue California need not concern you with regard to the whims and megrims of your own state’s voters, particularly since you are not seeking their support this year. And yet, and yet…as a US Senator, are you not, in a sense, responsible as well to a larger constituency, and not merely one anchored in the present moment?

    You will shortly be called upon to vote upon the elevation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. This man has been nominated by a president who has lavishly demonstrated himself unfit to hold his office, and his nominee has signaled himself prepared in the event to extend to the president unlimited immunity from the consequences of official misconduct. On Thursday last he demonstrated his utter temperamental unfitness for the office to which he has been nominated. I assert with some confidence that you recognized this: there are forty of your colleagues in the GOP Senate caucus regarding whom I could not say the same.

    How can you possibly countenance his elevation? How can you? We are at the direst crisis of constitutional democracy since 1860. Before Thursday I might have said that a vote for Kavanaugh might be remotely permissible under other historical circumstances than with a deranged autocrat clumsily attempting to seize power, enabled by a cynical Senate leadership. Today, no. Not at all. Not ever. Not this man.

    You have yesterday gingerly put a spoke into this process by requiring an FBI investigation prior to your vote. I would like to think that this means, beyond the institutional loyalty to the Senate you profess, that you are not merely looking for a figleaf for your inclination, announced earlier the same day, to vote for confirmation. Consider: but for your reservations on Friday, and the cover you thereby provided to a few others in both parties, the Senate Majority Leader might have been able to ramrod this through, and Kavanaugh would be seated on Monday. Win or lose, the delay will not be forgiven by much of your party. And if, after having secured the contempt and loathing of all sides, you vote as McConnell wishes, what profiteth you?

    Today we have learned that the White House is hobbling the investigation, restricting its scope. Will you accept the results of an inquiry so constrained? Will you declare the results “inconclusive” and conclude that the victory goes to the defense? Your decision, at this possible epilogue of your public career, will tell us much about the man you are. It will reveal something as well to those closer to you. Were you a cynical man, as perhaps you are—it would not be the first time I’ve misjudged a public figure—I might point out that while your dissent will certainly earn the eternal enmity of the current GOP, it will also secure the lasting affection of the DC press corps, the “Villagers,” who yearn ever for a “principled conservative” along the lines of your late colleague McCain. He rode that constituency a long, long way.

    We probably disagree, Senator, on most of the compelling issues of the day. The Venn diagram of our preferred SCOTUS nominees almost certainly does not remotely overlap. Eventually this administration will fill Kennedy’s seat with someone with whom you’ll be philosophically comfortable, and with whom I will differ every…single…time. I get that.

    But not this one, please. Not this snarling, embittered hack. Not this man who sneeringly lied before the Judiciary Committee and dared anyone to call him on it. Not him.

    Win or lose, history will judge you, Senator. Which side are you on? How will you be remembered?

  77. 77
    jl says:

    @Gozer: ” We don’t want ruthlessness in politics necessarily, but that’s what they’ve chosen and to us that’s what it has to be. ”

    I’m on the older side of your 45 line, but I agree. We have to face reality. In the past I think the Democrats have not faced it. Now, I am not sure. I think some have. The Dems have to conduct a very careful tactical battle to preserve future fighting ground. I hope Harris, Booker, Whitehouse, DifFi and others are doing the best job they can.

  78. 78
    tony prost says:

    @debbue: In my Freshman year, I figured out the hangover wasn’t worth the fun!

  79. 79
  80. 80
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Rand Careaga:

    Wow, that is eloquent. Good for you.

  81. 81
    Millard Filmore says:

    @Uncle Cosmo:

    they can include this unsolicited testimony as appendices

    Avenetti needs to also put out a press release that he has done this to keep these declarations from getting buried.

  82. 82
    FelonyGovt says:

    @Rand Careaga: Excellent letter. I’m a private arbitrator, not a judge, but if i ever behaved the way Kavanope did I’d never get another case. He clearly lacks judicial temperament and shouldn’t be on the DC Circuit, let alone the Supreme Court.

  83. 83
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Sister Golden Bear:

    Yeah, that’s great. Very, very sad.

  84. 84
    Brachiator says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Trump on Kim Jong Un: “I was really being tough and so was he. And we would go back and forth. And then we fell in love. No really. He wrote me beautiful letters. They were great letters. And then we fell in love.”

    Trump’s description here does not sound like the stereotypical posturing macho male. It is strikingly homoerotic. With Trump perhaps being the top. It is also stunningly and typically narcissistic.

    I wonder how this played to his crowd?

    And of course, Trump is entirely disconnected from the truth. This has always been his method, but now he has staff and the entire right wing media machine eager to back up his lies.

  85. 85
    Ruckus says:

    @Gozer:
    It might also be that those older, much older folks were/are so used to not being able to say or do anything about all the shit that that is their normal, accepted way to deal. Walk away, live another day.

  86. 86
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Ariel Edwards-Levy @ aedwardslevy
    YouGov has some of the first numbers on hearings — Blasey Ford seen as more credible than Kavanaugh, but it does little to change support for Kavanaugh’s nomination.
    Also notably: voters who oppose Kavanaugh confirmation are 15 points likelier to say SCOTUS is very important to midterm vote than those who support.

  87. 87
    Millard Filmore says:

    @opiejeanne:

    Too many things to copy to include your text. Here is a link to the whole day’s transcript:
    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/national/wp/2018/09/27/kavanaugh-hearing-transcript/

    Search the text (Control-F in Firefox) for “This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit” … There may be more in there but this was the big one.

  88. 88
    Calouste says:

    @Adam L Silverman: The whole purpose is to humiliate the GOP Senators. The shitgibbon threw out the list with conservative but acceptable candidates, and then picked the worst one from the list of batshit candidates. And then made the GOPers defend him. Humiliating Flake is just a bonus.

  89. 89
    Brachiator says:

    @debbie:

    This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election…

    Sounds like he needs a drink.

  90. 90
    Calouste says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: America has its first openly gay President.

  91. 91
    Bill Arnold says:

    @Sister Golden Bear:

    Not saying definitively part of Kavanaugh’s emotions were a performance (for an audience of one), but…

    They were. His mask was pretty leaky. I don’t know whether DJTrump has an ability to see these leaks (like your friend did). His performances talking with world leaders suggests not, at least not any more.
    Re female anger, I think back to that preacher from Alabama, who said (mid Aug 2018)

    But here’s what the Holy Spirit said to me last night and what He said for me to tell you. He said, “Tell the church that so far, Trump has been dealing with Ahab. But Jezebel’s fixing to step out from the shadows.” That’s what the Lord said to me.

    (Jezebel was a priestess in this context. She’s not treated favorably in the old testament, probably in part because she was involved in a to-the-death fight between the older religions (Babylonian, Sumerian, with goddesses and gods) and monotheism with a single male deity.)

  92. 92
    Miss Bianca says:

    I have had a drinking blackout. Once. In grad school. I remember the before and after vividly. What made the biggest impression on me – besides the absolute hell of a hangover the next day – was seeing shards of glass in the bathroom wastebasket. It was the glass I had dropped and somehow, in my complete drunken stupor, managed to pick up and dispose of without cutting the shit out of myself. I had no recollectiom of it. Scared and sickened myself so badly I have mever done it again.

    Point being – I come from a social milieu like BK’s. I had an alcoholic father. And I *still* can’t figure out how you would ever get blackout drunk more than oncr.

  93. 93
    A Ghost To Most says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Oh, had someone asked him to blow into a breathalyzer at the hearing. Drunk rage, for sure.

  94. 94
    debbie says:

    @Brachiator:

    Well, it sure doesn’t seem practiced. //

  95. 95
    Brachiator says:

    @JWL:
    RE: But I can honestly say I never abused, attacked, much less sexually assaulted, anyone in all the years I drank. Which makes perfect sense. I don’t do that to people when I’m sober, either.

    I totally believe you, but this says nothing about the behavior of other people when drunk. What’s the phrase? In vino veritas. Some people, men and women, are very different when drunk than when they are sober.

    When I was in the newspaper business, I saw that alcohol and drug use was rampant, from the lowest worker to executives. And behavior ranged from the mildly embarrassing to absolutely appalling.

    Among a group of younger people I formerly worked with, a DUI and suspension of a driver’s license is seen as just one of life’s hurdles.

    Respect or disrespect of women is something else altogether on top of the issue of substance abuse.

  96. 96
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: “But not in a gay way. No sirree
    In a really manly, strong leaderly way. Bigly!”
    I mean…what the actual fuck? In West-by-God-Virginia?

  97. 97
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yes, but Trump new love, I mean if their ever was a couple meant for each other… Why look at them, they make a well rounded pair.

  98. 98
    CaptJLP (formaly Anotherlurker) says:

    @JWL: I, too, had exactly 1 blackout, where I could not figure how I drove home. I have been lucky that, after a puzzling, frightening morning after, wondering how I didn’t kill myself or harm others, I was able to rein in my more destructive behaviors. Did I still drink? Yes. Did I ever again get drunk? Yes. Do I drink to excess, now? No
    Did I ever, drunk or sober, threaten, harass or belittle a woman who said no? No.
    I hope this doesn’t sound egotistical, but, I wish my behavior was the norm.

  99. 99
    joel hanes says:

    @Calouste:

    and then picked the worst one from the list

    With respect, it’s my impression that Trump chose the one who is certain, by judicial record and by personal promise when Trump interviewed him, to vote that the President cannot be indicted and that the President’s pardon power extends to pardoning himself, and is broad enough to cover anything Trump has done.

  100. 100
    debbie says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I drove drunk once when I was 18. The kind of drunk where, if you really focus, you can just about put one foot before the other. It was about 2:30 in the morning and no one else was on the road. The streets were all straight and most traffic lights were flashing yellow. I may have blacked out for a moment, but a couple blocks from home, I suddenly found myself four lanes over, up on the curb. I swore that if I got home safely, I would never do anything like that again. I don’t have more than a couple sips of beer if I will be driving myself home.

  101. 101
    Ruckus says:

    @Miss Bianca:
    For some drinkers, they have no idea that such a thing as stopping point exists, when they have had enough. If there is enough alcohol within reach, they will drink it. BK drank like a fish during the hearing. He wasn’t thirsty, he needed courage. And for him courage comes in a bottle. And that’s how he drinks alcohol, and I’d bet every time he can. One after the next one, till the wallet or the refrigerator is empty. He is used to drinking alcohol when things are going badly and when they are going well. He doesn’t have too many of those second kinds of days, the ones that go well. I hope he has a lot fewer of them now.
    I worked for one of these. Drinking becomes everything. Winos on the street do this. They’d rather drink that eat. People that have a job manage to do this, remember I worked for one, someone like a judge could easily do this.

  102. 102

    @Mnemosyne:

    Oh, his anger was definitely a performance. Alcoholic rage usually is, because it’s an attempt to get the victim to accept blame for the alcoholic’s actions.

    No disagreement. Should’ve used my sarcasm font.

  103. 103
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Sister Golden Bear: Damn. Really? Specifically because you were trans? : (

  104. 104
    B.B.A. says:

    Of course he doesn’t remember now, and he wasn’t even blackout drunk at the time. He must’ve done that kind of thing to dozens of girls and women and not one of them ever complained, how was he to know that it would cause a lifetime of trauma? I don’t remember the names of everyone in my freshman dorm and I bet he doesn’t remember these equally minor details of an adolescence and young adulthood of shittiness. Piece of overprivileged human garbage.

  105. 105
    Zelma says:

    Three women.

    After the Ford testimony, three women I know well admitted that between the ages of 14 and 16 they were sexually assaulted. Two of them have never told anyone in 60 and 50 years. How many women carry this burden and how many never told anyone because somehow they were convinced it was their fault. I feel fortunate to have never really experienced this kind of behavior, mostly because I never really dated.

    I’m an old woman. I lived with unspoken misogyny all my life. I was in a profession that was largely male. I was not supposed to be there. I thought that we had fought and won some important battles. But I am increasingly fearful that our gains will be erased. The patriarchy is powerful.

    I fear for my country.

  106. 106
    Ruckus says:

    @debbie:
    I was in the navy with a guy who lived off the ship. He also drank a lot. I asked him how he got home, that being on a island with a two lane bridge and about 5 miles away from the bar he drank at. He said he closed one eye so that he didn’t see 2 lines. That wasn’t the worst drunk I knew in the navy. Not even close.

  107. 107
    MagdaInBlack says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick. Ick.

    ICK. 😑

    😄

  108. 108

    @Brachiator:

    Here’s the video with what looks like an incredulous comment. The reaction is somewhat mixed, so Trump goes right into a 30-second hate on all those who would say it’s not presidential. My Twitter is mocking him, but I follow the hated liberals.

  109. 109
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    So when we heard about Trump ordering the investigation to not ask any embarrassing questions, am I the only one who thought of a million noir detective stories: “Captain ordered us to close off this investigation. He’s getting pressure from higher up.”

    Aside from being kind of a cliched way to send the message that “higher up” is corrupt, that usually doesn’t work out too well for the bad guys. I’m heartened by Adam’s assessment at #41 and may watch 60 Minutes for the first time in years.

  110. 110
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: So about Trump new totally NOT gay 100% man love, I assume this conservative West Virginia audiance cheered the president of the US announcing his love for a communist dictator?

  111. 111
    Suzanne says:

    I binge drank a few times in college. I don’t remember ever blacking out. I got drunk enough to fall asleep and be hung-ass over the next day. One memorable hangover left me feeling shitty two days later. I partied a lot the first two years of college, and then just kind of got over it and getting fucked up kind of lost its allure.

    When I was in graduate school, I started having tonic-clonic seizures, most likely brought on by sleep deprivation and disruption of dreaming/REM cycles. I have not had more than two drinks at a sitting (except for one night when I had had a monstrously terrible weekend a year ago and I had three) ever since those seizures started in 2008, because the medication I was on had warnings about it. I haven’t had a seizure in nine years and I’m no longer on anti-seizure medication.

    Now that I am old and boring, I enjoy alcohol on the weekends, and that is really all. I am too old for shitty alcohol, too. There are a couple of good bars in Phoenix with really delicious cocktails, and I enjoy having a couple and then going home and sleeping in my own bed.

    I like comfort and boredom.

  112. 112
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Wow, they claped, These people really are dumber than dirt.

  113. 113
    Miss Bianca says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Yeah, I was wondering the same thing!

  114. 114

    @Cheryl Rofer: Ugh. I was trying to get the video to embed right here in the comments. But you can click right over to it.

  115. 115
    geg6 says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    Jesus. He said this in West Virginia?!?!?!?!

    Damn. The cognitive dissonance there must be visible from space.

  116. 116
    Suzanne says:

    @Zelma: My grandmother was raped when she was 19 or 20, when she was living on an Army base as a newlywed and my grandfather was stationed somewhere else. My grandfather didn’t believe her, because she told him it was a soldier and he didn’t believe anyone in the wonderful US Army would ever do such a thing. She never talked about it again, until….. Fast forward fifty or so years later, she had had a stroke and her memory and functioning were severely affected. But she remembered, and she talked about it, finally.

    Even more devastating was that she talked about the stillborn baby she delivered, who she wasn’t allowed to see.

    Fuck the patriarchy.

  117. 117
    sukabi says:

    @jl: he was disrespecting Senator Klobachar with that bit, and never did answer the question.

  118. 118
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: may watch 60 Minutes for the first time in years.
    Who’s on 60 Minutes? Avenatti?

  119. 119

    @Gozer: I’m coming from the other side of the age divide you describe. At this point, we simply have to destroy the Republican Party. But I would add a couple of considerations:
    1) We need to do it in ethical ways. It’s possible to fight hard and ethically.
    2) We will eventually need to bring the country back together. It’s possible that the best way to do that is unconditional defeat, followed by something like truth and reconciliation commissions.

    The first maintains our integrity. Given that the Republicans are willing to break all norms, the second is, well, secondary. But it’s worth keeping in mind when choices of tactics are made.

  120. 120
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @Miss Bianca: Sort of ties in with the accusations of feigned rage with that SCOTUS nominee jerk, doesn’t it? The Right has no real position or truths on anything, just subjectes they agree they can scream and yell about. Like Trump less leading the Hard Right and more like a stream of consciousness from them.

  121. 121
    Ruviana says:

    @Ruckus: This is alcoholic drinking. The AA saying that most resonated for me was :”One is too many and a thousand isn’t enough.” I’d drink until I passed out or I ran out (of booze).

  122. 122
    Ruviana says:

    @Suzanne: Yeah, now that I’m an old comfort and boredom are awesome!

  123. 123
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    as Laura Rozen points out, no way in hell did trump write this tweet, but I think it means something that they felt like they had to respond. I wonder if Flake let them know he doesn’t want to be played. Or at least they have to be more subtle about not taking him seriously.

    Flake standing up to trump, even in this minor way, would surprise me. He said today that he’s still planning to vote to confirm.

  124. 124

    @Miss Bianca:

    Damn. Really? Specifically because you were trans? : (

    CW….
    .
    .
    .
    .
    .
    Yes. I was co-hosting a fundraising show (where I was also performing as a drag queen) and an exceedingly drunk woman came up to me and wanted to know if I was trans. She then put her hands of my breasts* to see if they were real. While I was trying to disengage from that, she then thrust her hand between my legs “to see what I had up there.”

    I froze, and her friends hustled her out of the bar before could go after her.

    *Boob/ass grabbing was pretty much a given in the gay bars I performed at (both for drag queens and cisgender women performers). And when I’d call them on it, the response was invariably wanting to know what the big deal was, since “it’s not sexual.” (Sadly, many gay (white) me are far behind the curve when it comes to “consent culture.”)

    #whyididntreport? Doing so, or making a scene, risked not getting future bookings.

    Thankfully, I’ve never been raped. It’s cold comfort to know that now having congruent parts makes it more likely that if I ever am, that I’ll merely be raped, rather than raped and killed; and if I am killed, it’ll be harder for my murdered to use the “trans panic” defense that’s still legal in almost all states.

  125. 125
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: d’oh!

    this tweet trump didn’t write

    Donald J. Trump @ realDonaldTrump
    NBC News incorrectly reported (as usual) that I was limiting the FBI investigation of Judge Kavanaugh, and witnesses, only to certain people. Actually, I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion. Please correct your reporting!

  126. 126
    Gozer says:

    @Ruckus: That is undoubtedly true and something I very much respect. But my view is that was then and this is now and Dems have to be more ruthless (ie. expanding the vote as maximally as possible, etc). I guess I can tolerate some horsetrading (because politics) and obviously what works in LA doesn’t work in the other LA, but…I don’t know. I just see so much under assault and under assault quickly that I can see a building rage in people in my generation that our elders either don’t understand or don’t recognize.

    @Cheryl Rofer: I agree with this. I’m definitely not in favor of manufacturing bullshit like the Kavanaughs, Coulters, etc. of the world.
    But is very, very hard to have to argue your essential humanity and still view the other side that doesn’t recognize that humanity as worthy of redemption.

  127. 127
    Gozer says:

    And when I mention elders I’m not talking about the fine jackals around these parts. :)

  128. 128

  129. 129
    BlueGirlFromWyo says:

    @Gozer: Exactly what goes on with me and my husband. He’s a Boomer and I’m a Gen Xer.

  130. 130
    Ruckus says:

    @Ruviana:
    Exactly. Alcoholic drinking. One is too much and the only time they’ve had enough is when they pass out.

  131. 131
    debbie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    They don’t even bother fake capitalizing anymore?

  132. 132
    lurker dean says:

    @Ruckus: good point. for me his constant tv appearances and macho bravado make me worry he’ll get too enamored of himself and oversell. on the other hand, we are fighting constant gaslighting by trump and a feckless press, so maybe that’s what’s needed.

  133. 133
    Chacal Charles Calthrop says:

    @jl: “witnessing this, and this nomination being shoved through in this ruthless rotten corrupt way, shows that the powers the run this country believe that using ruthless force to get what you want is OK. It is just perfectly fine with them, and that is how they will conduct themselves if they retain power”
    This.
    This is what’s behind the cliche “first they came for …” because they start with the vulnerable, not because the vulnerable have done anything wrong, but because they are testing to see what they can get away with.
    As the (other) cliche is,
    Word.

  134. 134
    oldgold says:

    Trump says this — earnestly! — about Kim Jong Un: “We went back and forth, then we fell in love. He wrote me beautiful letters. And they are great letters.
    We fell in love.”

    Pity the poor Rooskie who is tasked with breaking this to Putin. Of course, they will always have Helsinki.

  135. 135
    B.B.A. says:

    Speaking as a self-loathing cishet white dude: we need to purge our ranks. Schumer and Durbin should step aside and let Patty Murray take the leadership reigns. Likewise Steny Hoyer needs to retire yesterday, and the other pale/male/stale people in our House leadership should start making plans for a transition. The party of Ted Kennedy and Chris Dodd and Bill Clinton and, hell, Al Franken and Keith Ellison, needs to become a historical footnote just like the Whigs and (hopefully) the Republicans.

  136. 136
  137. 137
    H.E.Wolf says:

    @Sister Golden Bear:

    And if it wasn’t bad enough, there’s been a spate of women I know who’ve been contacted in recent weeks by the men who assaulted them. At best, the ones who are genuinely contrite are asking women to do emotional labor of forgiving them and easing their guilt.

    As our esteemed and beloved rikyrah would say: Speak that truth.

    This is exactly what my abuser* did, earlier this year. Incandescent with rage is a mild description of my inner state.

    *It was the type of long-running, non-sexual (though gender-based) abuse, by a person with power over me in the workplace, that Linda Bloodworth Thomason described in her recent essay. I am luckier than many.

  138. 138
  139. 139
    Ruckus says:

    @Gozer:
    Oh I agree, just explaining from a perspective of don’t want to lose my job or it’s just boys being boys, etc. I get it because I’m earlyish boomer and that’s what happened when I was younger if you didn’t have power. Call them on their bullshit. Absolutely.
    I think a lot of olds will fool us, and be pissed off because this is pretty obvious in it’s level of conservative shit. But that’s what happens throughout history, enough people get mad enough and the bullshit can’t cover it up.

  140. 140

    @Gozer:

    But is very, very hard to have to argue your essential humanity and still view the other side that doesn’t recognize that humanity as worthy of redemption.

    Or doesn’t recognize your humanity at all (if you’re a POC or/and LGBT). In my case they’ve been busy implementing a literal five-point plan by the Talibapists to eradicate trans people from public life. And I don’t mean figuratively.

  141. 141
  142. 142
    Steeplejack (tablet) says:

    SNL starting with Matt Damon as Kavanaugh!

  143. 143
    B.B.A. says:

    @debit: I just saw a link to a story about Kennedy and Dodd assaulting a waitress in the ’80s, and it getting shrugged off as “oh, you men.”

    Fuck that shit. Burn the patriarchy to the ground, take no prisoners.

  144. 144
    tobie says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I doubt that Flake stood up to Trump. It’s more likely that a three-alarm fire had started with members of the FBI, who leaked news of the restrictions the White House had placed on them to NBC, WSJ, etc. Did Wray grow a spine? Possibly. Here’s hoping this tweet counts a new directive superseding the old one. No restrictions. The FBI can interview whomever they see fit.

  145. 145

    @tobie: From my Twitter feed, it seems to be going that way now, but I think it won’t shake out fully until the morning. So I”m going to bed!

  146. 146
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @B.B.A.: Yes, purging everyone who knows how to get things done because of a lack of an ideological purity worked so well for the Trump admin. Ridged and narrow adherence to a political dogma is the corner stone of a democracy and necessary to build a mass political moment.

  147. 147
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Deputy to the WH Counsel under Obama

    Ian Bassin @ ianbassin
    Note to @ FBI: whatever instructions White House staff gave you, the President’s tweet below is actually (no, really I’m not kidding) an order from the President. DOJ’s legal view is that a presidential order need not take any special form; if the president orders it, it counts.

  148. 148
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Steeplejack (tablet): and Lindsey Graham! (I think it’s a bit mild actually)
    I didn’t even know they were back for the season

  149. 149
    Ken says:

    @tobie: Has anyone ever clarified whether the tweets are Presidential directives? After some of the ones dealing with military personnel, the heads of the armed services basically said “send us the real paperwork and we’ll start implementing it.”

  150. 150
    Suzanne says:

    A link going around on my Facebook feed is to a Newsweek poll indicating that over 70% of GOP voters do not believe that sexual assault should disqualify Kavanaugh from the SCOTUS even if proven.

    This is what I have been saying: they think Ford is credible, but they just don’t care. Women are not really people to the GOP.

  151. 151

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Yeah, purges didn’t work out that well for Stalin either.

  152. 152
    Ruckus says:

    @H.E.Wolf:
    This is what I was talking about to Gozer. Women have it a lot worse because of the sexual abuse/rape side but many have a bit of this, especially if you lived in a less urban place, you could lose your job. You could walk away but would it be better or worse at the next place or was there a next place to go to? Sometimes there isn’t and you have to swallow yourself because you have rent and need food, and possibly kids to take care of. Now of course not anywhere near as many men have anywhere near the level of issues that women do but some do understand at least the concept of abuse and bullying from the victim side.
    That drunk boss? He was very nice to women, at least superficially. But men he had power over? He pushed that and pushed it hard. He had a stepson and stepdaughter. That little girl was the best and that boy could do no right. I think he saw himself in all the males he ever met, that they must be just like him, and would fuck him over every chance they got unless he beat them to it. Unless of course they were pouring. Those were the good guys.

  153. 153
    B.B.A. says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques: Nancy Pelosi can stay – and should as long as she’s physically capable of holding a gavel.

  154. 154
    Raoul says:

    FYI Willie is live on the book of faces right now at the Beto rally. Enjoy, if that sort of thing appeals. I’ve got it on. It’s probably better if you’re there in person (and maybe on a bit of what Willie likes to enjoy (I don’t partake)).

  155. 155
  156. 156
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @B.B.A.: Sarcasm a new concept to you, you say? Let’s try being blunt; declaring war on being white and male is not wrong to work and it’s not the solution to the problem A-holes like Kavanuagh are a creation of system that has instituted abusive behavior. Just making it all woman won’t stop that, it will just change the gender of the abusers. See Carly Fiona.

  157. 157
    SectionH says:

    @Raoul: Wait, what? Went to Fb, which I don’t do often these days, and not having any luck. What looked like a link got me nothing but a beachball. Link?

  158. 158
    Gozer says:

    @Ruckus: I have total sympathy with folks who grew up (like my parents did) in the Jim Crow south and the southside of Chicago in the 50s and 60s. They were under a level of threat that I never had to face. However for them not to understand why younger people are so angry or to dismiss that anger is something else entirely.

    I think more than anything it’s the vivid contrast between the Obama and Trump admins that is contributing to the anger. It a sense of you don’t get to take these gains away from us (ie. PoC, LGBT, women, etc). And that’s why I think that most liberals are going to be realistic about what’s achievable, but with a sense that half-measures should not be the starting point.

  159. 159
    gene108 says:

    @Gozer: @jl:

    Democratic voters, not just hardcore registered Democrats, but the on-the-fence Independents, we need to win elections are turned off by hardball politics.

    They would be okay, with a Democratic Party that took harder stands on things like affordable healthcare, but the year wouldn’t respond positively to the sort of hateful angry rhetoric Republcans use.

    There needs to be a balance struck, between being firm but not angry, but it will not be easy.

  160. 160
    B.B.A. says:

    Okay, whatever the hell Kanye just did confused me out of my blind uncontrollable rage.

  161. 161
    NotMax says:

    What the eff are they smoking? Talk about a surefire way to put a harsh on Christmas.

    Christian Bale and Amy Adams are firming up a sturdy grasp on awards season with their upcoming political dramedy Vice.

    Annapurna announced the previously untitled Dick Cheney biopic’s new title and release date Friday, confirming the long-gestating project from The Big Short director Adam McKay will hit theaters nationwide on Dec. 25 in time to qualify for the 91st Academy Awards.… Source

  162. 162
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    Just making it all woman won’t stop that, it will just change the gender of the abusers. See Carly Fiona.

    It’s an interesting rhetorical trick. There are many powerful women in our world today. Not enough, but still, *many*. And so far, two TWO *TWO* of them have been brought up as part of the #MeToo movement’s outing of harassers & rapists. TWO. There are THOUSANDS of powerful men who do this shit, and we’re seeing more and more every week.

    And yet I’m supposed to believed that because TWO women have engaged in harassment & rape, that that’s evidence that a world governed by women would be just as bad as a world governed by men?

    That’s bollocks, that is.

  163. 163
  164. 164
    patrick ii says:

    The fbi can be limited in who they talk to. but I don’t think they will be limited in the questions they ask. Mark Judg e is a witness\accessory to much of what other accusers have asserted about Kavanaugh. Much depends on whether Judge is willing to lie under oath to the fbi. Someone should remind him Trump won’t be around forever to protect him from criminal prosecution.

  165. 165
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @gene108: Yup. Weigel tweeted this in response to Steve Bannon predicting that Avenatti will be the Dem nominee in 2020, but it applies to a lot of areas of politics

    Dave Weigel @ daveweigel
    The motivations/biases/priorities party bases are not symmetrical, and anyone who thinks they are can be safely ignored.

  166. 166
    Martin says:

    @Enhanced Voting Techniques:

    Just making it all woman won’t stop that, it will just change the gender of the abusers. See Carly Fiona.

    Mmm. I disagree with this. Many of the women in power got there by playing by male rules. Getting to a point where women are setting the rules of success would reset quite a few things.

  167. 167
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: well, as a perpetual, Sisyphean dieter, the pictures of cakes you post make want to cry

  168. 168
    Original Lee says:

    @Suzanne: Or for a lot of the older Trumpistas, they consider anything before college graduation to be “sowing wild oats.” If anything is unearthed that is more recent (say, something that happened in his 40s), some of them will probably change their minds.

  169. 169
    Ceci n est pas mon nym says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: According to Adam

    Basically they’re humiliating Flake. That didn’t work out so well for them last week. Flake and Coons are appearing together on 60 Minutes tomorrow night and I guarantee they’ll be asked about this.

  170. 170
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Ceci n est pas mon nym: ah, thanks

    I hope they’re asked about Kavanaugh’s perjury

  171. 171
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: I made a lovely tiramisu two weeks ago and I did not post it so as to not torment you. In this case I was referring to my comment at #41 above:

    @smintheus: Just a quick note on this and then I’m going offline for a while:

    1) This, like every other one of these too cute by half maneuvers they pull, is going to blow up in their faces. This actually increases the pressure on Flake, not reduces it. Flake made it clear that the only limit on the investigation was a week, which isn’t actually a problem for the FBI when conducting a priority Special Presidential (Directed Background) Investigation (SPIN). Basically they’re humiliating Flake. That didn’t work out so well for them last week. Flake and Coons are appearing together on 60 Minutes tomorrow night and I guarantee they’ll be asked about this.

    2) You wan’t to make Avenatti go away or, at least, chill him out as much as possible. This has just pissed him off more. He’s already scheduled to appear with his client on at least one Sunday show tomorrow. I realize that McGahn has gotten used to dealing with the walking dead that have been the President’s legal team over the past 19 months or so, but Avenatti is in a whole different league than past their primes Dowd and Giuliani and a never was like Sekulow. All they’ve done is waved a big red flag in front of an already angry bull. They seem to have forgotten that he already set the conditions that ended with Michael Cohen pleading guilty in Federal court in an allocution that inames the President as his unindicted co-conspirator.

    Just as they completely misplayed their hand over and over and over again last week, they’ve decided to get a head start on doing so next week.

    As I’ve written here several times, there is a lot of time between now and next Friday. And then there will be a lot of time between the initial procedural vote by the whole Senate and when they hold the final vote 72 hours later. Every time these morons have a chance to actually help themselves by not making things worse, their instinct is to make things worse.

  172. 172

    @Original Lee:

    something that happened in his 40s

    Anything that happened then are know as “youthful indiscretions”.

  173. 173
    Melusine says:

    @Sister Golden Bear:

    . (And yes #metoo. More than once, and the worst incident was specifically because I was a trans woman.)

    I am so sorry you went through that. Being sexually assaulted should not be the price of admission a woman has to pay for living her life, and I know that for women who are transgender, that price is frequently even higher. I hope that in your journey you reach a place where you can just frigging be YOU in peace without all the bigoted bullshit. Sending you mental hugs and martinis (or your beverage of choice)

  174. 174
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: It is also important for everyone to understand that there is only one person who works in the White House who can order anyone in the executive branch to do anything: the President. For the purposes of giving binding orders/guidance throughout the executive branch of the Federal government, the President is the only constitutional officer in the White House. So if McGahn called up Director Wray or whomever the FBI Deputy Director is or the section head for the section that runs Special Presidential (Background) Investigations (SNIPs) and gave him orders, without a written presidential directive, the order isn’t worth McGahn’s breath and can be ignored.

    Just as a quick aside, this appears to be an ongoing problem with this administration. There has been reporting, starting the first weekend when the travel ban went into effect, that Stephen Miller gets on the phone or goes to someone in person and gives orders that are expected to be carried out. In the case of the travel ban – how it was supposed to be carried out. There was other reporting last year that Miller was holding teleconferences with sheriffs who are registered as/ran as Republicans and was giving them guidance/instructions regarding immigration enforcement issues. This is a two for: Miller is not a constitutional officer and can therefore not given anyone an order and county sheriffs don’t take orders from the Federal government.

  175. 175
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    I come from a social milieu like BK’s. I had an alcoholic father. And I *still* can’t figure out how you would ever get blackout drunk more than once.

    My father was an alcoholic (the happy sociable kind, fortunately) so I was always *really* careful around alcohol. Partially because, even in the early 1970s, there were already studies indicating some people with a family history of substance abuse inherited a tendency to be less susceptible to hangovers than the ‘normals’. And for too many of us (including at least one of my siblings), those who didn’t suffer the intense after-effects of those first few adolescent group-binges, that meant sliding from ‘can really hold his beer’ to ‘has to top up the blood alcohol level just to function’ before they were old enough to rent a car.

    Kavanaugh’s certainly not a happy drunk, but from the way he’s been carrying on in public for the last couple of weeks, it wouldn’t surprise me if he was one of those not-really-fortunate underage drinkers who got hooked early & hard.

  176. 176
    J R in WV says:

    I was born in 1950, so am right in that Boomer generation. I am done with the right-wing fascists trying to ruin our country. Crushed to powder would do it for me. Made to submit to life in an open society, with equality among all, women, LGBTQ, immigrants, muslims, jews, atheists, all, that would work if they really shut up about their painful white supremacy. But they won’t, ever, as long as they have any power to step on those they don’t regard as human and equal in society.

    Grrrr! Hope Mr Avanatti tears the white house a new asshole in the next two of three days. And that some established conservative women accuse “Judge” Kavanaugh openly of a wide variety of illegal and horrid actions and behaviors. Although his refusal to cooperate with his job interview last week should be enough for everyone on that committee to vote against his confirmation.

    Drunken rage-filled monster showed his true face, should be impeached from his current job, never approved for public employment ever, of any sort.

    Other topic:

    Went to symphony concert, got home after eating out. Wonderful show, pianist we have seen before, emotional amazing performance of Tchaikovsky’s first piano concerto, a long and very involved piece of amazing work. Tchaikovsky was told by his teacher that it was not performable when he showed it to his teacher. So glad that old guy was wrong!

    Then he performed an encore, Maple Leaf Rag, a complex jazz age piano piece, by Scott Joplin. My grandma played that on her upright piano, self taught. I never could pick up the rag-time rhythms. Tonight the crowd loved it, so completely different from the orchestral piece we had just heard.

    Then we went to a pan-Asian restaurant and had a mix of shusi and tempura for late dinner. There was one drink.

    A nice evening out.

  177. 177
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Brachiator: I think you may have misinterpreted JWL; he read to me as if he were agreeing with the old adage “Alcohol doesn’t make you a different person; it just reveals the person you really are.”

    Kavanaugh doesn’t drunkenly assault women (verbally, at the very least) because he’s a gentleman who’s been led astray by Demon Rum. He does it because he’s a sexist and a bully who lets alcohol — possibly who *uses* alcohol to — disinhibit his worst impulses.

  178. 178
    Ruckus says:

    @Gozer:
    Oh I agree whole heartedly. There is a reason those changes were made over the last 100 yrs. Originally they were wrong. Some of them only got half assed changes and have a long way to go. Losing that now is shit. But I think that it still holds that a lot of people, especially old people, don’t like change, they don’t understand where that might leave them or how it will affect them. That shouldn’t stop forward progress. People my parents age were still looking at the world through depression colored lenses when I was growing up. Among other crappy lenses. And a lot of their kids and grandkids leaned from them. That’s why it normally takes so long to make changes. But this is different now. This conservative bullshit is trying to go backwards and take away the last 60-100 yrs of progress. But old people like me can only play support and encouragement roles in the changes that we need, the next generations have to do the work that needs to be done, it’s their futures and it’s not my world any more. I’m voting for the women and youngsters that can get that done. It may be surprising but lots of us actually are on your side. Not as many as should be but still a lot.

  179. 179
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    This is a two for: Miller is not a constitutional officer and can therefore not given anyone an order and county sheriffs don’t take orders from the Federal government.

    Not officially anyway. How much you want to bet that some of those sheriffs will carry out those orders anyway?

  180. 180
    NotMax says:

    @J R in WV

    Tchaikovsky’s first piano concerto

    Damn, those Russkies are everywhere!

    ;)

  181. 181
    Gozer says:

    @gene108: I’m not talking about angry overheated rhetoric. I’m talking about trying to preserve the chummy atmosphere of an age long since passed by entering into “agreements” that aren’t worth anything.

    I’m just tired of Dems negotiating as though the GOP has anything approximating good faith. I understand that negotiating has to happen in divided gov’t, but for the entirety of my political awareness I’ve seen Dems consistently proceed as though the other side is an honest partner that won’t shred the terms of the agreement at first opportunity.

  182. 182
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Gozer:
    I understand exactly what you’re saying. However, Dems are currently in the minority and can’t do much beyond “agreements”. Once in the majority I think they should definitely ditch making “agreements” and treat the current opposition as largely illegitimate

  183. 183
  184. 184
    Anne Laurie says:

    @Zelma:

    I’m an old woman. I lived with unspoken misogyny all my life. I was in a profession that was largely male. I was not supposed to be there. I thought that we had fought and won some important battles. But I am increasingly fearful that our gains will be erased. The patriarchy is powerful.

    What gives me hope is that so many women — and men, too — are reacting to Kavanaugh and his defenders with open anger. After the Clarence Thomas hearings, as I remember them, the women were quietly seething and the men were mostly in shock. Now women and men (yeah, that’s important too) feel empowered enough to say: This was something that should not have been allowed. This happened to me / to people I love / to all too many victims and WE’RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANY LONGER.

    When historians talk about the start of the Civil War, they start in the 1850s. Long after slavery had been entrenched in the Constitution, but well before Fort Sumter. At the height of the 1850s, when one senator literally beat another senator half to death on the Senate floor, lots of abolitionists and people of general good will despaired that the Peculiar Institution could never be eliminated in America, because the people most interested in preserving slavery were willing to go to any lengths.

    I think this Backlash Decade is a similar historical turning point. Hopefully — with the example of the Civil War to learn from — it won’t require quite so drastic a cleansing fire to pry the revanchists away from the levers of power. But those revanchists claim to love history, so they should be able to figure out that public intimidation (Dred Scott, lynch law, et al) works… until it doesn’t!

  185. 185
    CaseyL says:

    @Adam L Silverman: But if he’s ordering them to take actions they want to take anyway, they’ll happily make believe he has the authority. The descent of so many LEOs into eager ethnic-cleansing fascism is horrifying. I’m starting to view them with the same automatic suspicion and antipathy as when I was a long-haired hippie freak.

  186. 186
    Gozer says:

    @Ruckus: In moments where I allow myself to be hopeful I notice a huge difference between me and folks that are less than 10 years younger. The world And how they relate to it and each other is totally different. Especially as it relates to things like race or gender or sexuality.

    Granted this is a group that is highly educated, but their openness is striking.

  187. 187
    opiejeanne says:

    @debbie: Thanks. I tried googling for it earlier and got nada.

  188. 188

    @Cheryl Rofer: and, until the internet and #metoo, almost no-one believed, except for a few radical feminists from back in the 1970s and the conservative separatists, who are probably high-fiving each other right now.

    We seem to be living in a story written by Suzy McKee Charnas, or perhaps Marilyn French.

  189. 189
    Gozer says:

    @🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷: I should have prefaced that with “when in the majority”. It made no sense for Dem leadership to keep trying to reach out to the gop minority when they were on record saying they would try to sabotage the Obama presidency. And this was long after they’d shown themselves completely incapable of being honest partners in governing.

  190. 190
    🇺🇸🌎 Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)  🗳🌷 says:

    @Gozer:
    Sure. Out of curiosity, about how are old are you? I ask only because of your comment at 186.

  191. 191
    Jay says:

    @Miss Bianca:

    Alcoholics get two “conditioned” thresholds.

    First, they get drunk a lot easier, fewer drinks, because their bodies crave the alcohol.

    Second, their tolerance for alcohol, goes way up. They stay upright and functional a lot longer, because their systems process the excess alcohol a lot slower.

    They go to bed drunk and often wake up still drunk.

    Rather than experiencing a hang over the next day, they often suffer from the DT’s, ( Delerium Tremors), gut pains, shakes, because their nervous system is so used operating in a “lubed” state, damping down motor control and reactions.

    They rarely puke, and suffer multiple blackout and brown out episodes.

  192. 192
    Suzanne says:

    This is a fucked-up thought that I am having.

    So I have commented multiple times about the book “White Working Class” by Joan Williams. Williams is very insistent that many things considered cultural norms are just folkways of what she calls the “PME”, which stands for “Professional-Managerial Elite”. The PME is made up of people who work and who didn’t grow up wealthy, but who work in white-collar jobs which they access through higher education.

    ANYWAY, there is a piece going around my Facebook feed from New York magazine called “Christine Blasey Ford is a Class Traitor”. And I thought about how her father didn’t want to make any official statements because he didn’t want to impact his position on the board of the country club. And I thought about how, when I worked a McJob as a teenager, sexual harassment was absolutely nonstop. Just absolutely disgusting, and incessant, among my coworkers. And it is making me wonder……how is sexual assault coded on a class basis? Is objection/aversion to sexual assault just one of these folkways? Is this why the GOP doesn’t think it’s really a big deal?

    Fuck, this is depressing.

  193. 193
    Ruckus says:

    @Gozer:
    I work with men, and one women, they range in age from 20 to late 50s. I absolutely agree that they are different. They have different life experiences and see things differently than I do for sure. Example. The youngest has never lived when we didn’t have cell phones. I lived when we had operators for making long distance calls. But you know what? They are all still people, they make the same mistakes and have the same successes. They have the same phobias and likes/dislikes. None of them served in the military but then that’s the same as better than 95% of the population. Yes they all were born after the civil rights act and two of them are Latino. A big difference is that they don’t really see themselves as anything other than Americans and they wouldn’t if they were my age, which is funny because I see them that way, as Americans. And one of them is a shitgibbon supporter. And we have in common that we don’t talk to each other for anything but work and avoid that as much as possible.
    I will easily give you the how we relate to the world, but I fall far more into the younger mindset than any of them do, and I’m the oldest.
    Nothing about people is clear cut or simple, ever. And we have a percentage of young conservative dipshits in this country, a number of young racists, complete bigots. Not all blacks are liberals, not all old white men are conservative. We are 320+ million people, with all the good and bad that entails. And yes I see the young people as our best chance to actually grow and become a better democracy. But that is because they have the time and the desire to be the same as many people my age did when they were young. And I still remember the pictures of women old enough to be my grandmother, protesting the Vietnam war. Right along side young men, young enough to be their grandkids, burning their draft cards. Some of those kids will become more conservative as they grow older and have houses, kids and grandkids and some will become more liberal, realizing that is the far better way to insure a future for all of us. It’s up to all of us to show the way towards that future.

  194. 194
    Ruckus says:

    @Suzanne:
    I can not speak directly to sexual harassment as I am a man who has never experienced it. And for most of my working life I worked for myself or in male dominated jobs. But I heard stories and I figured out that a lot of men are raised to feel superior to women. I could never understand why though. I watched women work as hard or harder than a lot of men. I saw them put up with far more crap, just in day to day life. My sister was a full blown feminist, long before that word gained prominence. Maybe that had an effect, I’d say it did.
    All of that is to say, I think people are people. That privilege that the better off have protected their kids from some things and gave them a false sense of betterment than most working class people but men still think with the small brain. Look we even make jokes about it. Alcohol still does what it does to people but the better off can get ahold of more of it, easier and could and can as kids. Of course there is always weed but up until somewhat recently alcohol was just easier to obtain. And I think because of prohibition, actually more accepted to be used by kids when I was one. When I was 17 my boss sent me to the store to get him cigs and the guy wouldn’t sell them to me because I was under 18, but I knew where to get beer and CA has always been 21 drinking age. And there was a beer crowd at HS. We had a kid who had Miller gold leafed on his 55 Chevy and he was told by the school he had to remove it or be kicked out. His parents sued the school on first amendment rights and won. And their kid keep drinking as a teen. I don’t think people have changed as much as some think. See my answer to Gozer just above. I do think that the people paying attention politically have grown apart because the political parties they belong to have. I believe that the haters don’t hate any more, or less, but there are more of them and the party they belong to has had a 60-80 yr program of making that hate more defined and more public. How many 70-90 yr old billionaires have paid a lot of money to people to make that hate more defined and even more political? Conservatives hate women, blacks, browns, unions, liberals, poor, who am I leaving out? They think they are better, because they must be better, otherwise why would they hate all those people? And they think they are better because they like money and some vague idea of something called god and none of the people they hate do. But we all like money, we just aren’t all greedy fucks at someone else’s expense. And a lot more people like something called god than don’t, on both sides of the political line. I’m saying we are a lot more alike than some seem to think. Hell, there are billionaire liberals.

  195. 195
    JGabriel says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist:

    I gonna guess [North Korea will] never say they can trust the US.

    Given the US’s history of abrogating treaties, particularly when presidential administrations change, and Donald Trump’s own history of breaking contracts, that attitude is not unjustified.

  196. 196
    JGabriel says:

    @lurker dean:

    very good point about avenatti. he’s over the top but he has consistently backed up his talk.

    When you’re going up against someone like Donald Trump, you probably have to be somewhat over the top just to get heard. Mueller being the exception because, of course, he doesn’t want to be heard yet – not until the report is ready and airtight, I would imagine.

  197. 197
    zhena gogolia says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    YOU ARE GOOD

  198. 198
    What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us? says:

    @Ruviana: So what if it partially is revenge by the Clinton’s? He helped make their and many of their freinds’ lives miserable for 8 years. Welcome to their world asshole…payback’s a bitch. I hate how he and Lidsey are so outraged about getting a taste of their own medicine.

    Besides which unless he has proof of this vast conspiracy it’s another lie he told while under oath, not one told in on the spot questioning, but in a prepared statement. That’s perjury, a crime he has committed repeatedly throughout this process.

  199. 199
    artem1s says:

    @What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?:

    Besides which unless he has proof of this vast conspiracy it’s another lie he told while under oath, not one told in on the spot questioning, but in a prepared statement. That’s perjury, a crime he has committed repeatedly throughout this process.

    Oh the conspiracy was real and he knows it. Freudian slip on his part. He helped engineer one of the biggest conspiracies in US history to take down a popular sitting president. He knows that what he did was vile and horrific. He knew and didn’t care that he was hurting Vince Foster’s family; Monica Lewinsky; Paula Jones. The only thing he cared about was destroying Bill and making sure it tainted Gore’s campaign. They couldn’t find anything illegal in their finances so they had to bait a trap to set up the lie about an affair. BK knows what he did was wrong and he’s been terrified ever since it was going to come back to haunt him. I’m betting that look on his wife’s face dates back a long way – all the way back to being disgusted at BKs hypocrisy during the Clinton hearings.

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