Where Things Stand Before the Cloture Vote

We’re about fourteen hours out from tomorrow’s cloture vote to advance the Kavanaugh nomination. The last reporting I saw on Senator Grassley’s whip count is from Seung Min Kim from about four hours ago.

She’s also reporting that Senator Daines will not be in DC and will therefore not be available to vote on Saturday.

This impacts Senator McConnell’s calculus as he’ll only have 50 Republican Senators available to vote on Saturday, not 51. If just one Republican senator votes no, this nomination would fail.

There is also heavy pressure being brought to bear on Senator Murkowski, long considered to be the most likely Republican no vote.

This also increases the pressure on Senator Flake.

While Elaina Plott’s reporting is now quite old, given the fast moving and changing dynamics here, it is significant. The more time Senator Flake spends talking with Senator Coons the better. Moreover, the President decided that the late Senator McCain has been resting in peace long enough, so back to one of his favorite rally anecdotes.

The President’s inability to let go of a grudge increases the pressure on Senator Flake. My impression has always been that not only is Flake more likely to either fold or crack under the pressure, but that a lot of what we’ve seen McConnell do is based on his assessment that Flake will fold because Flake always folds. For McConnell, if Flake folds, then Murkowski, despite it putting her crosswise with the Native Alaskans whose support allowed her to keep her seat, and Collins will fall into line too. I don’t honestly know if that will happen this time. I’m not even sure Senator Flake knows…

Senator Manchin is still, officially, undecided, but pressure is being brought to bear on him as well.

There is a lot of time between now and 10:30 AM EDT when the cloture vote is held. And there is even more time between now and when the actual vote on the nomination would be held on Saturday. Time is not Senator McConnell’s, Judge Kavanaugh’s, or the President’s friend. Nor is the pressure being brought to bear on Senators Flake and Murkowski.

Open thread.

PS: Senator Ben Sasse (R-Profile in Courage) has fled the capital this evening claiming he needs to go home to deal with a family matter, but supposedly he’ll be back tonight. Apparently he’s had a Starfleet issued transporter installed in his family home back in Nebraska…

226 replies
  1. 1
    WaterGirl says:

    Thanks for this, Adam.

  2. 2
    Calouste says:

    “Urgent matter back home” = “trying to talk his wife out of filing for divorce if he votes yes”

    Btw, we worked out on a thread a few days ago that Eliana Plott is probably not the most reliable resource.

  3. 3
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @WaterGirl: You’re welcome.

    Hope is not a strategy, but where there’s life, there’s hope.

  4. 4
    WaterGirl says:

    I don’t understand why the 3 republican senators – Flake, Collins and Murkowski don’t band together and say “we need more time — if the cloture vote is held tomorrow, we all vote NO”.

    That gives them more time to see which way the wind blows, more time for newspapers and attorneys and all sorts of people/places to speak up and give them cover to vote no.

  5. 5
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Calouste: She writes for The Atlantic.

  6. 6
    Gin & Tonic says:

    I’m not an air transport expert, but how does Sasse go from DC to Nebraska and back tonight?

  7. 7
    jacy says:

    Several reports that Cory Gardner is still undecided, as reported by his office.

  8. 8
    The Dangerman says:

    …confirms that he will indeed be walking his daughter down the aisle…

    Wow. I still think Murkowski’s a no.

    Still wouldn’t be shocked to see this fail in cloture. And I’m cold stone sober tonight (while still in Barstow; I’m finding all the hotspots though).

  9. 9
    randy khan says:

    Sasse and Daines leaving town is . . . interesting.

  10. 10

    I see them all bowing if they have to. All three of them. If the Republicans were all there, I could see Murkowski voting no, but if they need her vote, it’s hard to see her defying them. If she’s set on no, and Manchin doesn’t come through for the Republicans, I could see the Montana dude bailing out on his own daughter’s wedding. Priorities and all, you know?

  11. 11
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

  12. 12

    No forgiveness for the Grabby Old Perverts voting to confirm their rapist pal to the Supreme Court.

  13. 13
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jacy: Yep, I think he’s the fourth GOP senator that Grassley was referring to.

  14. 14
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @randy khan: Daines’ daughter is getting married Saturday.

  15. 15
    WaterGirl says:

    I have always told people that if you push me to rush an important decision, then my decision is NO.

    How do you get to be that old and have no common sense?

    Also, where’s the instinct that if you’re pushed too far, you push back?

    edit: Obligatory “what the fuck is wrong with these people??”

  16. 16
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Daines won’t bail out. Instead McConnell will try to hold the vote open while Daines either charters a jet to get back or some rich GOP donor puts one at his disposal.

  17. 17
  18. 18
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    Mitch doesn’t have the votes yet. I am not saying he won’t get them, but he doesn’t have them now.

  19. 19
  20. 20

    @The Dangerman:

    I’m finding all the hotspots though

    It was rather hot when I went though there at 11pm a couple of months ago.

  21. 21
    Enhanced Voting Techniques says:

    @WaterGirl:

    I don’t understand why the 3 republican senators – Flake, Collins and Murkowski don’t band together and say “we need more time — if the cloture vote is held tomorrow, we all vote NO”.

    I suspect all this ranting and vows of revenge from Turtle, Gassy and Graham is really directed towards them. This isn’t about POWNING the Libertards, it’s about powning the moderates in the GOP.

  22. 22
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: That’s my take on Grassley’s whip count.

  23. 23
    Ruckus says:

    @Gin & Tonic:
    I’m betting that he will miss his plane. Which he’d have to catch pretty damn soon if he had a chance. So on purpose. Don’t they roll up the sidewalks, streets and anything else that can be rolled up at about 9pm in Nebraska? Seemed like it last time I was there.
    IOW he lied, he isn’t coming back for the vote. Probably. I wonder if he wants to vote no but doesn’t have the balls to stand up and be a human being.

  24. 24
    jacy says:

    @Adam L Silverman: every body was counting #4 as Sasse, which was confusing. I would think think some blue/purple state senators would tread carefully. How many are out there?

  25. 25
    WaterGirl says:

    @schrodingers_cat: Hey, if all they have to do is leave town, and that buys more time, they can be as cowardly as they like.

  26. 26
    Ben Cisco says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Well played.

  27. 27
    WaterGirl says:

    @Ruckus:

    I’m betting that he will miss his plane.

    I had the same thought. Or maybe there’s a medical “crisis” and he has to stay home with his family.

  28. 28
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Adam L Silverman: That WSJ thing would not have happened if they were set. Also, that WSJ thing was cringe inducing.

  29. 29
    The Dangerman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Mitch doesn’t have the votes yet.

    Nope. The arm twisting and/or bribes has got to be off-scale.

    How does a leader schedule a vote like this when he knows he’s down a Senator for a Wedding? In retrospect, that feels like malpractice.

  30. 30
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @jacy: Enough. Unfortunately almost none of them are up for reelection in this cycle. Apparently someone has set up a similar fund for a future Democratic opponent for Gardner as has been done for Collins. He’s up in 2020, so he has to start fundraising for that election starting in 2019. So pressure on him may also be effective.

  31. 31
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    Seems like he’s giving notice to those holding out. Vote and vote yes or be kicked out of the party. But scheduling a vote and then having to reschedule or cancel would be horrible for him. Too bad. Doesn’t really make me sad though, if he gets his balls handed to him.

  32. 32

    Rs are now the party of rape and child abduction.

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ben Cisco: Knew you’d appreciate it.

  34. 34
    WaterGirl says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: All that pathetic op-ed did was draw attention to the fact that the WSJ editorial board had come out against him.

    That op-ed made him look very weak. it was embarrassing. .

  35. 35
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: Yep. The op-ed is squarely aimed at Roberts. At trying to allay what are going to be Roberts’ concerns about how the court will be perceived with Kavanaugh on it.

    ETA: In an attempt to preserve what he sees as his and the court’s reputation, we may see some strange judicial politics and repositioning by Roberts should Kavanaugh be seated.

  36. 36
    germy says:

    Associated Press:

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh acknowledged Thursday he “might have been too emotional” when testifying about sexual misconduct allegations as he made a bid to win over wavering GOP senators on the eve of a crucial vote to advance his confirmation.

    The 53-year-old judge said in an op-ed that he knows his “tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said” during testimony last week to the Judiciary Committee.

  37. 37
    Mike in DC says:

    Ironically, if BK is confirmed, all this “enthusiasm” of GOP voters is likely to dissipate a bit. Pretty much the only upside to his potential confirmation.

  38. 38
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @The Dangerman: The vote was supposed to be taken last Saturday. Flake blew up McConnell’s calendar.

  39. 39
    Kay says:

    Osita Nwanevu
    ‏Amazing how we’ve just accepted that most of the right is culture war concern trolling now. No one even pretends they’re contributing to policy discourse. Everyone else is arguing about single-payer or whatever and they’re doing 2,000 word columns about how mean people are.

  40. 40
    Mai Naem mobile says:

    Trumpov is such a fucking pig of an asshole. What a titanic sized piece of shit. Hope he goes down like the Titanic. McConPig as well. Both deserve a very long painful death with no meds for pain relief. Sorry for such nasty comments but I want to say even worse shit. I can’t handle any more of this shit from the GOPig party.

  41. 41
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @germy:

    Daniel Dale @ ddale8
    Kavanaugh: “…I said a few things I should not have said. I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters.”

    and all those people can judge whether you are fit for those roles, you are not fit for the Supreme Court

  42. 42
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Good ole mitch is such a slimy asshole that this may be the only way for the defectors to actually be out of the line of fire for a while. If they are gone they don’t have to vote and while this may be hugely important to mitch and shitgibbon, it may actually be slightly less important to those who can read the writing on the wall even while being yelled at and called names by him. Maybe their internal polling shows them bluer than blue shortly and they expect that to grow in the next 2 yrs.

  43. 43
    Adam L Silverman says:

    Also, apparently, Jeniffer Rubin is now an unperson.

  44. 44
    Ian R says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Do you have a link to that potential Gardner opponent crowdfunding site?

  45. 45
    trollhattan says:

    @germy:
    Check out the big brain on Brett. Ya think?

  46. 46
    germy says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: What goes around comes around.

  47. 47
    Elizabelle says:

    I really do not think Murkowski’s a yes. I was there when the 18 women came out of her office. Several were in tears. They felt she really heard them. I was there for the Hart Bldg Atrium protest. They weren’t expecting it, and it was huge.

  48. 48
    Elizabelle says:

    Edit button fail. I think Murkowski’s a NO. She will not support Kavanaugh.

    Can we ever get the damn edit button back?

  49. 49
    lamh36 says:

    @jacy: I saw some tweets bout Gardner. I’m sorry, but I just dont’ buy that any GOP who were YES before will change their votes to NO. Not unless, they have women in their lives who actually speaks up to them and used whatever influence they have with the senators to get them to vote NO.

    But that also mean I have to assume, that it’s not likely they married someone closely compatible to their own views…so putting trust in the spouses, daughters or signficant other to get the GOP Senators to do what’s right just aint’ happening.

    Still, good on these survivors for speaking their truth.

    @nancyleong
    · 2h
    Replying to @nancyleong
    His office told me he was undecided less than 48 hours ago. That may have changed but if you live in Colorado I think it is worth your time to call. pic.twitter.com/7x83bQ49uo

    @nancyleong
    UPDATE: I just spoke with someone I know who is a survivor of sexual assault. She and a group of other survivors met with Sen. Gardner just a few hours ago in DC. Her view is that, yes, it is very much worthwhile to keep calling. He told the group he has not made a decision. pic.twitter.com/SYdhEIb1pY

    5:32 PM – Oct 4, 2018
    https://twitter.com/nancyleong/status/1047977860281987072

  50. 50
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ruckus: The 2020 cycle is far better for the Democrats than the current one in regard to the Senate. This helps explain Gardner.

  51. 51
    germy says:

    @trollhattan: Pickled brain and pickled liver.

  52. 52
    Princess says:

    They don’t have the votes. Kavanaugh would not have published that WSJ op ed tonight if they had the votes. And the things he says in it are the places where he is vulnerable — not so much on the drinking and lying and attempted rape, but on his temperament and independence. Those are the things to mention to your GOP and wavering Dem senators when you make calls tomorrow.

  53. 53
    Mathguy says:

    Can I mention for the nth time how much I despise my senator, Ben”Hypocrite” Sasse? Appropriate that his initials are BS.

  54. 54
    Mike in NC says:

    Trump and his boss Putin have so much in common, the “inability to let go of a grudge” certainly being one thing. Also a need to be needlessly cruel and vindictive to opponents. Qualities one would expect in an insecure, immature asshole but not a leader.

  55. 55
    germy says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Can we ever get the damn edit button back?

    It’s back.

  56. 56

    @Elizabelle: Thanks so much for doing this. Do you have pictures to share.

  57. 57
    Martin says:

    Yeah, they don’t have the votes. In the end it may come together, but they’re at no more than 47 now, and either they’ll get Flake/Collins/Murkowski as a block or they won’t. There’s strength in numbers – and that cuts both ways.

  58. 58
    WaterGirl says:

    @Elizabelle: That’s encouraging. I truly hope you are right.

  59. 59
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ian R: I don’t. I’m not even sure it’s been set up. Just remember seeing something about someone planning to do it. Or announcing they were going to do it.

  60. 60
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: “Leaders”. To paraphrase what Kathy Griffin once said of the Hew Hughit clone who heads something like the “Catholic League”, a bunch of loser grifters with email accounts. I see a David Bozell, can I assume Brent has gone to his reward and his spawn has inherited the role of public pest along with the family fortune (Pat Buckley was a Bozell, IIRC). Also, Craig Shirley, a name I vaguely remember from the 90s. Raging Mollie couldn’t get Bill Bennett to sign? at least he was an A lister. Twenty years ago.

  61. 61
    Martin says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Conservatism can never fail, it can only be failed.

  62. 62
    Keith P. says:

    Can someone educate me why we’re not talking about a filibuster? IIRC the filibuster was only removed for lower-level courts, yet we’re talking about a 50 vote threshold.

  63. 63
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elizabelle: @Elizabelle: The edit button is back. Clear your cashe and reload the page.

  64. 64
    germy says:

    Hatch will be pissed if they don’t get the votes.

    He’s been acting out more and more, in bizarre ways in front of women who try to talk to him. Waving his hands at them, yelling at abuse survivors to “grow up” etc.

  65. 65
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Brent is also on there. He’s on the first page of co-signers, David is on p. 3 of co-signers. Like son like father.

  66. 66
    Barbara says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: No, you were there as a prospective member of the Supreme Court with power over other people’s sons and daughters. Clueless and narcissistic all in one thick protective bubble.

  67. 67
    LAO says:

    What’s particularly galling to me about the faux apology op-ed, is that Kavanagh used the one excuse that’s always unavailable to women – emotion. He was maybe too emotional. That really pisses me off.

  68. 68
    lamh36 says:

    Like I said on previous threads, on that Kavanaugh op-ed.

    Many of the calls for his nomination to be withdrawn mentioned his attitude and his demeanor. And now here is Kavanaugh writing an op-ed apologizing for his “demeanor”. Bullshit…this is for those Senators like Manchin who may “forgive” his “youthful transgressions”, but he outright partisanship was a bridge too far…so here ya go…”hey dudes…I apologize….sure I spoke from PREPARED REMARKS OF MY OWN WORDS, PENNED BY MY OWN HAND…and sure I answered the Dem Senators questioning with disdain and condescencion…but hey I apologize…can I haz job now”

    any Senator who was willing to give this joker the benefit of the doubt, should see this as the bullshit hail mary it is and vote NO…FUQ’ER is lying even in his apology. I mean could a female nominee be able to get away with the “emotional” excuse? And again, those were PREPARED REMARKS, that he made sure to let folks know he WROTE himself…

    And as folks have said, it’s also classic abuser apology after the abuse..

    . “hey look, I’m sorry, I hit you like that honey…I was very emotional last week…I promise I won’t hit you again…I was just stressed” —-abusers excuse #999999999999

  69. 69
    Kay says:

    @Elizabelle:

    She really doesn’t owe them anything:

    Murkowski had to campaign to get voters to write her name on the ballot after Miller, backed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, defeated her in Alaska’s Republican primary in August.

  70. 70
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Can we ever get the damn edit button back?

    No. Get it right the first time is now the rule.

    ETA: Well, glory be, I haz edit.

  71. 71
    mike in dc says:

    @Keith P.: Mitch removed the SC filibuster to get Gorsuch through.

  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Keith P.: McConnell got rid of the filibuster as soon as Schumer tried to use it against Gorsuch. Which was what was always going to happen with it. The minute a Democratic minority in the Senate tried to use it against a GOP president’s Supreme Court nominee with a GOP majority in the Senate, McConnell or whomever eventually succeeds him, was going to get rid of it.

  73. 73
    WaterGirl says:

    No matter how this goes, when Democrats are back in control of congress, I want to see a nation holiday: Christine Blasey Ford is a Hero day.

    You know, I kinda wish her name wasn’t so long because it’s a pain to type, especially with a keyboard that is dropping letters and the spacebar either doesn’t add a space or it adds two spaces.

    But dammit, if she’s gonna do this for all of us, I’m going to type her full name until the end of time.

    P.S. I have to be without my laptop for up to 3 days while they order the part, and I just can’t go without it while this clusterfuck is going on.

  74. 74
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: This is now at least the third thread the J-Rubs banishment has popped up in, so I say by BJ-non-rules rules it deserves its own thread.

    Jk but still, how interesting! We have reached the point where

    1) apparently it is time to dismiss the heretics and pledge GOP loyalty to the one true orange god
    2) wackos like Ginni Thomas, William Boykin, Brent Bozell, and Gary Bauer are feeling empowered enough that they can declare who is and isn’t a “conservative”
    3) …and apparently their definition of “conservative” is “whomever opposes Trumpov”, ’cause the policy positions that Rubin slams (that they’ve listed) sure aren’t small-c conservative. Why, her stances are almost the positions of an actual, principled, country-before-party, rule-of-law-should-mean-something, conservative (with no quotes)

    I like it. I plan on harping on it with RWNJ friends and relatives through the weekend. Let’s get that GOP civil war going and/or bring those #NeverTrumpers around to the idea that they’d better join the Dems and help work the GOTV like the rest of us, ’cause this is it.

  75. 75
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Brent is also on there.

    he’s still wheezing, eh? as the Sage of Long Island told us, only the good die young

    He must not have adopted his sister’s drinking habits, or his BIL’s

  76. 76
    Elizabelle says:

    @schrodingers_cat: I do. And one of the women in the meeting w Murkowski said she’d be willing to visit w us here. Will send Adam some footage when I get to the hotel.

  77. 77
    Another Scott says:

    @Keith P.: Someone probably already replied, but McConnell and the GOP killed the SCOTUS filibuster for Gorsuch (54:45).

    That ship has sailed.

    HTH.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  78. 78
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: I really don’t care if Hatch is upset.

  79. 79
    Keith P. says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Ah, I forgot about the whole Gorsuch thing (how could I, given that’s like one of Trump’s main “achievements”). No biggie…what goes around comes around.

  80. 80
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: I was away from 4 through about 8, so haven’t seen those threads.

  81. 81
    Kay says:

    @lamh36:

    Yeah, it’s a real no-no for a judge to announce he won’t be giving a fair hearing to half the population and vowing revenge. Generally frowned upon. That’s the brilliant jurist we’ve heard so much about. He failed the Judge 101 final.

  82. 82
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Will send Adam some footage when I get to the hotel.

    Are you trying to screw up my future nomination to a senior political appointment?//

  83. 83
    germy says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I do.

    I want him to be upset.

    I have a niece who was sickened a few years ago by some supplements some quack convinced her to take.

    I believe Hatch (and a few others) can be thanked for keeping that industry happily deregulated.

  84. 84
    debbie says:

    @germy:

    He’s a Lindsay wannabe.

  85. 85
    Ruckus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Not just Gardner. A bunch of them.
    And they can’t be so brain dead and isolated that they can’t see and hear the protests. It’s possible they are seeing that if they don’t either vote no or not be in town their political life is in real risk. Most of them know what their policies do but never had to give a shit before now. Between the kids being dramatically better at politics than they are and this BK bullshit it may just be that we are reaching that breaking point, the one where the world just says “Fuck you and your bullshit policies.” They know they really lost the last election and a lot of people are pissed. They know that a lot of people see through their “Tax Cut” bullshit and are pissed. They know that a lot of people are tired and pissed at seeing unarmed people being shot down for the crime of being anywhere at the wrong time.

  86. 86
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Keith P.: Honestly we are better that it is gone. The GOP senators were always lying when they claimed that if the Democrats kept it for them, they’d keep it for the Democrats.

  87. 87
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @germy: I have no problem with him being upset.

  88. 88
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @mike in dc:

    Mitch removed the SC filibuster to get Gorsuch through.

    I read [here, I think] that Schumer’s said he wants to reinstate the 60-vote threshold (and filibuster) for SCOTUS nominees. If the Dems retake the Senate, I’m gonna be calling him (and EVERY OTHER Dem senator) reminding them that I donated a shit-ton/shit-ton/shit-ton of $$ to get Dem senators elected. fufufufufufuck if I’m gonna sit still for reinstating the goddamn filibuster for ANYTHING. ANYTHING. They need to nuke it for legislation.

    The ONLY reason I can see for not nuking the legislative filibuster, is if they don’t have 66 votes [which is likely]; in that case Shitlord can always veto, and there’s no gain. But a boy can dream ….

  89. 89
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @debbie: Orrin is just a wizened shell of the overrated, nasty old partisan mediocrity he used to be

  90. 90
    Anya says:

    Manchin will vote yes. He has no moral conviction. I don’t even know why he is still a Democrat. Remember how tough he used to act against Obama and how much he used to disrespect him but he shows deference to a loathsome person like Trump. I can see Lisa M and Susan Collins voting no but I can’t see Manchin voting no.

    And since Flake has no moral courage, I am expecting the most toxic form of patriarchy will win.

  91. 91
    Mnemosyne says:

    @WaterGirl:

    And it did NOT counteract the image of him as a drunk and/or abuser at all. In fact, it came across very much as a hangover/post-abuse apology: I didn’t mean to do or say those things last night, baby, but you just made me so angry

  92. 92
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ruckus: I hope to anyone’s Deity or Deities, or lack thereof, that the Democrats have a strategic communication plan all lined up to hammer home that if Kavanaugh is voted down, and it is still a big if, it isn’t the Democrats to blame. It is the President for not nominating someone equally or more conservative, but with an appropriate temperament and a clean background. It is Leonard Leo’s and Don McGahn’s fault because they’ve tried to turn the Supreme Court into an adjunct of the Federalist Society despite not one person ever voting for Leonard Leo or Don McGahn. And it is McConnell’s fault for trying to ram this through at all costs while claiming it was everyone else’s fault. It is Grassley’s and the rest of the GOP senators fault for going along with McConnell.

  93. 93
    LAO says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Rubin’s Twitter game is on fire tonight.

  94. 94
    Jim Parish says:

    @Ruckus: I’m not sure that’s a viable threat. If there are enough R “no” votes to change the outcome, kicking them out ends the R majority.

  95. 95
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: No worries, I keep popping in and out tonight myself. It does seem to keep catching everyone’s interest. Lots of different ways to look at it, and what it might mean.

  96. 96
    Kay says:

    @lamh36:

    Maybe this is too harsh but I really don’t think someone applying for such a prestigious position, someone who was given literally every advantage at every single step of his life to this point, should get a do-over on his opening statement.

    He spent hours on that thing. He had retained counsel of his own, not to mention that he was surrounded by Trump hacks and senate lackeys, 3/4’s are probably lawyers. No one else gets a do-over!

    What’s the excuse? He didn’t read it before he delivered that tirade? Exactly how much help does this guy need to get over the finish line?

  97. 97
    SFAW says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I really don’t care if Hatch is upset.

    I do.

    If he stays upset, it increases the likelihood he’ll blow a gasket, i.e., stroke out, and maybe get to see the Angel Moron “up close and personal.”

    As the saying goes: Fuck him, and everybody that looks like him. The world can’t be rid of his evil ass soon enough. I don’t care if he and Teddy were pals.

  98. 98
    jl says:

    The good people of W By God Va would suffer horribly with Kavanaugh on the court. It would be an economic massacre of Biblical proportions, as the kids used to say.Yet those miserable slugs are both yes? Capito, natural, she is paid to betray the dupes who vote for her. Manchin is waving like a wet finger in a rapidly changing breeze.

  99. 99
    Anya says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: I always trust your judgment so imma calm down and hope for the best.

  100. 100
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Anya: I’m angry at the idea that Manchin will vote YES, too. Really, really angry. But OTOH look at this: https://projects.fivethirtyeight.com/congress-trump-score/joe-manchin-iii/

    His “trump margin” is -32%. For his state, he’s wildly Democratic. Please consider this. We couldn’t do better. I mean, look at that governor, Jim Justice [or whatever-the-fuck his name is]. He turns GrOPer->Dem, runs as a Dem, gets elected, and turns Dem->GrOPer right back. Maybe Manchin is the best we can get in WV.

    Please consider that possibility.

    And just to be clear: I have no Trumpist friends. Even the one “independent” friend I have, I’m getting close to stopping conversations with, just as a matter of self-care, b/c fufufufufuck she’s clearly homophobic. Not to mention that she thinks Kasich is fine/fine/fine. She hates Shitlord, which is fine, but it’s mostly b/c of women’s rights. Which is IMPORTANT. But that’s -all- she cares about. Aside from that, she’s a standard-issue conservative shitbag.

    So I’m not some “moderate”. And yet, I feel like we probably can’t do better than Manchin. We need his vote in our caucus, if he wins.

    ETA: There’s a famous theorem of political science [which I (mis-)remember being attributed to Arrow] to the effect of: in a democracy with lots of special interests, but limited resources, s/he who controls the agenda, controls the outcome. In short, EVEN IF Manchin ends up voting against Dem bills, if he gives us control of the Senate, that’s a trade we should take!

    Yes, it’s a morally corrupt thing, having to live in a democracy with such a gynormous bunch of moral imbeciles as the opposition.

  101. 101
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anya: When has Manchin voted against the Dems on a big vote? I get not liking him; I don’t like him either.

  102. 102
    germy says:

    Underrated moment: the exchange between @ayesharascoe and @AprilDRyan and @PressSec over Trump’s view on due process and even his infamous comments on the Central Park 5 pic.twitter.com/SDbYHxwuBI— Marcus Gilmer (@marcusgilmer) October 3, 2018

  103. 103
    jl says:

    @Kay: Cover for some wavering GOPers who are morally depraved and complete cowards. Most of the Senate GOPers are depraved and proud and loud about it, but a few sad sacks need some cover. And, Manchin too, probably.

  104. 104
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @LAO: Nothing quite like a woman scorned. So to speak.

    The reality, however, is that the neo-Cons, especially the Jewish neo-Cons, and even more so the 2nd and 3rd generation ones, were a really weird fit within the different components that made up the conservative movement. They were basically just uber hawks on defense and in regard to Israel. On everything else they were socially moderate to liberal. And they were largely fiscally moderate to liberal.

  105. 105
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: All they have to do is remind everyone that a) Gorsuch, Garland-seat-usurper that he is, didn’t draw all this flak (and why is that? Hmm) and b) the Repubs have the majority.

    I’m shocked the Dems didn’t step out of the partisan food fight* at some point and just tell Trumpov and the Turtle to #NominateAnotherWingnut It gets the point across pretty damn effectively.

    *and at some point, one would hope that the Dems coalesce on their messaging about how it’s always in the bad guys’ interest to turn every issue into a ‘food fight’. “Both sides”. He said, she said. It’s not going to register with huge swaths of voters but you never know…

  106. 106
    debbie says:

    I just read that op-ed. Even-keeled, my ass.

  107. 107
    Shrillhouse says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    Honestly, that’s the only thing that’s keeping me going at this point.

  108. 108
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Anya: What is wrong with you?!

  109. 109
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chetan Murthy: If all the other Democrats and the two Independents caucusing with them vote no, and Murkowski votes no, regardless of whether Flake or Collins does, I don’t see Manchin providing the vote that allows Pence to break the tie and place Kavanaugh on the court.

  110. 110
    The Dangerman says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    I read [here, I think] that Schumer’s said he wants to reinstate the 60-vote threshold (and filibuster) for SCOTUS nominees.

    Maybe I’d support McConnell going to 60 right now (which I think isn’t allowed), else, fuck that shit.

    They should have yanked Kavanaugh before the sun set last Thursday. The asshole hanged himself with his own 1982 calendar and no yelling from Graham was gonna change that fact.

  111. 111
    eemom says:

    With the possible exception of Thomas, I have to believe that none of the 8 Justices are anything other than horrified at the prospect of Kav being confirmed. The liberals, for obvious reasons; but Roberts, et al. have to be seething that out of all the reliable conservative hacks Dump could have given them to form a majority, THIS baggage ridden asshole is what they’re getting.

    Also, Gorsuch, the REAL studious choirboy of that school, must be pissed as hell at the prospect of a drunken jock frat boy staggering his way to the seat next to him.

  112. 112
    Jay says:

    “Brian Tyler Cohen Retweeted
    Brian Tyler Cohen
    Brian Tyler Cohen
    @briantylercohen
    I honestly cannot believe it’s taken this long for Trump to board Air Force One with a full strand of toilet paper trailing from his shoe.
    0:18
    416.2K views
    Embedded video
    From
    Philin’ Myself
    6:18 PM · Oct 4, 2018”

  113. 113
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Elizabelle:

    Edit button? I had it earlier today. Has it gone walkabout again?

    EDIT: No, it hasn’t. It’s working just fine.

  114. 114
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: Many Democrats did. A number of Democratic senators, including on the Judiciary Committee, have made it clear that the issue here is that Kavanaugh is unfit, as a total package, not that the President doesn’t have the right to nominate someone to fill this vacancy or to have that nominee approved by the Senate.

  115. 115
    lamh36 says:

    @Kay: I mean even claiming to not have read it…it was NOT the prepared remarks from his Chump coach…it was prepared remarks he claimed he WROTE HIMSELF!!! Like…so dude, you didn’t read your own damn words!

  116. 116
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @Jay: Oh my god. Is that real? tell me that’s real

  117. 117
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: Seeing is believing!

  118. 118
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Jeffro: @Adam L Silverman: It just doesn’t get reported. The media is not our friend.

  119. 119
    randy khan says:

    @jl:

    I will be very surprised if Manchin supplies the 50th vote. I won’t be surprised if he’s vote 52.

  120. 120

    @jacy: This was enough to put him on my call list.

  121. 121
    germy says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Restoring dignity to the office

  122. 122
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @randy khan: I could believe that. I would hope not, but I could believe it.

  123. 123
    Kay says:

    @jl:

    It’s just not acceptable. I watched his testimony. He delivered that screed with real relish. He was enormously proud of it. He claims he wrote it. Now he wants to retract it? Ask him how that request would go in his court. The freaking UNHEARD OF do-over request. We all make mistakes but most of us pay for ours. Not Brett. He gets to retract and we’re all ordered, by him, to just forget he ever said it. He said it. He meant it too. He labored over it and delivered it like a grudge he’s been nursing for 20 years, up to and including the obligatory wingnut Bork reference and the nutty, unhinged jab at the Clintons.

    He’s acting as if this was impulsive speech, something he blurted out in a moment of anger. It was a deliberately written and reviewed speech.

  124. 124
    germy says:

    Classy @OrrinHatch telling a group of survivors to “grow up” while he literally shoos them away with his hand. pic.twitter.com/MGEf0OSkWy— Scott Hechinger (@ScottHech) October 4, 2018

  125. 125
    Mary G says:

    Good thread. There is something hinky going on, because they wouldn’t have gone with the sad “You made me hit you” oped in the WSJ if they were that confident. Good thread:

    In the Kavanaugh fight, nobody knows for sure what's going to happen. The conventional wisdom in DC is that the GOP will have Kavanaugh confirmed by Saturday afternoon, and he'll be on the bench by Monday. But you know what? That was the conventional wisdom a week ago, too. 1/— Ben Wikler (@benwikler) October 5, 2018

  126. 126
    Ruckus says:

    @Jim Parish:
    Ole mitchy is in a tight spot. I did say kick them out but what I really mean is that he will find someone, anyone to run against them and that person will get the money. They will get shit. He expects to win their spot, he also would expect them not to be in that spot. He has a one seat majority so he has to play tough if more than one person is holding out on him. Remember the republicans have been able to keep the herd pretty well controlled. This loss would show him to be a weak republican leader and he doesn’t want that and at almost any cost.

  127. 127
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @SiubhanDuinne: I was trying to get info through Adam, but you know how Florida Man is. Not asking for any state secrets, but is our pal efg in hospital in BOS or PVD?

  128. 128
    Bill Arnold says:

    From OP:

    The President’s inability to let go of a grudge increases the pressure on Senator Flake. My impression has always been that not only is Flake more likely to either fold or crack under the pressure, but that a lot of what we’ve seen McConnell do is based on his assessment that Flake will fold because Flake always folds.</blockquote.
    Does Flake know that he is believed by many (including McConnell) to be this predictable? If he doesn't know, he should.
    Does he really want to be remembered as folding as the last important vote of his career as a Senator? Or is there some sweet post-Senatorial gig awaiting a man who folds? (Technically IIRC Senators remain Senators for life – http://www.formsofaddress.info/former.html )
    There are plenty of good reasons to vote against BK. For starters, he's blatantly partisan (and angrily so), and he quite clearly perjured himself a few times during his hearing after Ford testified. Notably, about his drunkardly ways in his younger days, and about his understanding of some terms used in his yearbook. (Also perhaps(probably) a sexual predator or worse, but more investigation is required there. Which he could call for if he wants to try threading the needle again.)
    In case people haven't seen these articles,
    I Was Brett Kavanaugh’s College Roommate – He lied under oath about his drinking and terms in his yearbook. (By James Roche Oct 03, 20187:45 PM)
    and
    Republicans Have Decided to Ignore All of Brett Kavanaugh’s Lies (By Jonathan Chait)

  129. 129
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @randy khan:

    I will be very surprised if Manchin supplies the 50th vote. I won’t be surprised if he’s vote 52.

    And I’m OK with that. I don’t have to like it, to be OK with it. If he then turns around and doesn’t caucus with the Dems, yeah, I’ll unholy fucking pissed, and God Willing will donate the Federal Maximum to his most capable primary opponent. But as long as he caucuses with the Dems, I’m [in pain, begrudgingly, kicking-and-screaming] OK with it.

  130. 130
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    “Get the fuck out, Joe, and hey, don’t forget we need your vote for bipartisan window dressing! Seriously, hurry the fuck up”

    Emma Dumain @ Emma_Dumain
    Undecided Dem Sen Manchin tells reporters he has been “thrown out” of the room where he’d been reading the only copy of the FBI report because it was the “Republicans’ turn” to read it. He says he has to come back tomorrow to finish, then will make a decision on Kavanaugh.

  131. 131
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @Chetan Murthy:

    Agreed. I am amazed that some people who spend hours ever day commenting on a politically oriented blog can be so fucking stupid about the way that politics actually works.

    There’s another WV guy, Ojeda, who was added to the fundraising drive a couple of days ago but people here were carping, “Oh my God, in that ad he sounds like he is trying to be a republican tough guy.” Jesus fucking Christ. As if the way to win WV voters is to really make an issue of transgender bathrooms or something.

    Manchin sucks balls. But he’s far better than what the Rs in the State have put up against him.

  132. 132
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Jay: Jay, thank you so much! Thursday evening NICE TIME!

  133. 133
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @TaMara (HFG): Pierce has excellent instincts.

  134. 134
    Bill Arnold says:

    (OK to delete broken version of comment)
    From OP:

    The President’s inability to let go of a grudge increases the pressure on Senator Flake. My impression has always been that not only is Flake more likely to either fold or crack under the pressure, but that a lot of what we’ve seen McConnell do is based on his assessment that Flake will fold because Flake always folds.

    Does Flake know that he is believed by many (including McConnell) to be this predictable? If he doesn’t know, he should.
    Does he really want to be remembered as folding as the last important vote of his career as a Senator? Or is there some sweet post-Senatorial gig awaiting a man who folds? (Technically IIRC Senators remain Senators for life – http://www.formsofaddress.info/former.html )
    There are plenty of good reasons to vote against BK. For starters, he’s blatantly partisan (and angrily so), and he quite clearly perjured himself a few times during his hearing after Ford testified. Notably, about his drunkardly ways in his younger days, and about his understanding of some terms used in his yearbook. (Also perhaps(probably) a sexual predator or worse, but more investigation is required there. Which he could call for if he wants to try threading the needle again.)
    In case people haven’t seen these articles,
    I Was Brett Kavanaugh’s College Roommate – He lied under oath about his drinking and terms in his yearbook. (By James Roche Oct 03, 20187:45 PM)
    and
    Republicans Have Decided to Ignore All of Brett Kavanaugh’s Lies (By Jonathan Chait)

  135. 135
    lamh36 says:

    @Chetan Murthy: Manchin is polling well. Of all the Dems in Red states, he is polling the best against his opponent. ALL the other Red state Dem Senators are in closer contest per polls, and they are all (last I heard) NO votes. If Heidkemp and Donnelly and McCaskill can all vote NO, then why the hell won’t Manchin say he will as well. Who is he trying to negotiate his vote with?

    All I’ve been saying here, is that there should darn well be some consequences to Manchin being a YES vote, esp if it’s a deciding one. Because is he polling well, then to vote YES means he’s ok with Kavanaugh being the next SCOTUS…because he wants him there, and the sexual assault and partisanhip, and drunkness and dishonesty means NOTHING to him.

    Will there be any consequence for Manchin if he votes YES? Apparently not…

  136. 136
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: If he loses this, he will be knifed. Everyone hates him; he maintains power in his caucus because he delivers. The moment he doesn’t, he is done.

  137. 137
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Gin & Tonic:

    I was trying to get info through Adam, but you know how Florida Man

    Really?

  138. 138

    I look forward to the endless investigations and subsequent charges against SC Kavanope and hope that his reputation is so completely destroyed he resigns in humiliation and defeat, after his wife leaves him and his kids never speak to him again.

  139. 139
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Brickley Paiste:

    Manchin sucks balls. But he’s far better than what the Rs in the State have put up against him.

    [joke, joke, joke, I tellya]
    I grew up in Texas. I KNOW from ball-sucking imbeciles. Manchin doesn’t even RATE on that scale. If he got himself a Gohmert brain-transplant, MAYBE he could rate. MAYBE.

    But yeah, these times have been a real awakening for me, in my 50s, about what really matters, and what doesn’t, in politics. If only Francis Fukuyama had been right (about _The End of History_). Ah, well.

  140. 140
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @lamh36:

    Will there be any consequence for Manchin if he votes YES?

    If Manchin votes YES, and gets re-elected with anything like a massive margin, I promise you, I’ll donate to his primary opponent. The federal max. If he gets re-elected with a thin margin, that’s a different story.

  141. 141
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Bill Arnold: You appear to have taken artistic comment formatting to new heights.

  142. 142
    zanamu says:

    Poor Ben. He gets flack from all Nebraskans because he wants to be Mr. “Bipartisan, more in sorrow than in anger” but his roleplay fools no one. The Trump haters want to know why he criticizes Trump yet consistently votes the party line, and the Trump lovers don’t know why keeps saying mean things about their Dear Leader.
    Sasse would love, love, love to spend the entire weekend as a media darling, but the question is, how much will he risk? It’s probably killing him [sad!] because this vote will stick to him. I am certain that he will have to stick his neck out more than this once if he ever hopes to get democratic love in Nebraska. We know who he really is. On the other hand, what does he know about republicans in the Senate, that the rest of us don’t? He won’t screw over his funders, so any divergent vote will have to be sanctioned by someone above him in the money chain.

  143. 143
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @lamh36: This is one of the votes where Manchin is expected to step up. This is the kind of vote for which we forgive the others. He has stepped up before. Why are you assuming he is a yes? And why are you assuming this would be a forgivable vote?

  144. 144
  145. 145
    TS (the original) says:

    Thanks for the post Adam – gives a little room for hope – and Trump attacking McCain’s vote – he is obviously thinking someone else is going to do this – making sure they know he will viciously turn on them when it happens.

  146. 146
    Kay says:

    @lamh36:

    It’s so incredibly cynical. He took a chance on a wingnut speech in an attempt to fire up his base and he got all of that. Now that’s no longer useful to him – the base is all in- so it’s time to don his “judge” hat again and try a broader appeal. He’s pivoting – now that he’s won the GOP primary he wants to win the general.

    Every time I think they couldn’t be any more grossly cynical and self-interested they outdo themselves.

  147. 147
    Amir Khalid says:

    It does seem the Republican party is faking its confidence that Kavanaugh will be confirmed despite the well-founded misgivings, even among Republican Senators, about his fitness for the Supreme Court bench, which seem fatal to his chances. I understand there is a B candidate, a woman, but if they can’t get their A candidate through I doubt they can succeed with the B, given they will have much less time. Has it been gamed out, how McConnell would proceed with the B candidate?

  148. 148
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Chetan Murthy: Fukuyama is 50 lbs of stupid shoved into a 5 lbs bag.

  149. 149
    Gin & Tonic says:

    @Adam L Silverman: You are, as far as I am aware, a man, and you live in Florida…

  150. 150
    SFAW says:

    @Kay:

    It was a deliberately written and reviewed speech.

    I agree. Others have probably already said this, but I think that asshole thought he could channel some Clarence Thomas “high-tech lynching” vibe, and get confirmed because of his throw-down. Although use of that line may not have guaranteed Justice Sockpuppet’s confirmation, it certainly set the Dems back on their collective heels.

  151. 151
    TS (the original) says:

    @Ruckus: Republicans always find it easier to be tough and win with a dem in the White House. President Obama got all 60 dem senators to vote for the ACA – trump is zero help to anyone trying to whip the votes.

  152. 152
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    How many other dems are undecided or yes votes?
    If he’s the only one then there is good reason to be skeptical of what he might do. Granted, at the end of the day he’s always done what has to be done. But it seems he’s wavering more on this than anything prior. I’d like to know why that is? My minds wild ass guess says there might be something in his background that is ringing alarm bells in his head and he’s afraid that if he votes wrong he might be investigated. But of course that’s just my wild ass guess brain being involved here.

  153. 153
    lamh36 says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: nothing in his demeanor or his statements or his actions have in ANY way have me believing that he wasn’t already a lean YES. Prior to Dr. Ford’s accusations, what made Kavanaugh more of a NO from Manchin than Goruch? Wasn’t the last statement from Manchin on the Ford allegations, was something about looking at Judge Kavanaugh’s actions from the age of “25-53”? Prior to Ford’s allegations, was Manchin talking like he had issue w/Kavanaugh? After the FBI sham, when asked about the possibility that Kavanaugh lied in his Senate testimony, Manchin said basically, “oh I haven’t paid attention” to those reports?

    So then, what has he been paying attention to, if not what Kavanaugh did BEFORE the age of “25-53” or how Kavanaugh was far from truthful in his Senate testimony.

    Like I said…if Manchin votes NO, then great, obviously. But if he is a YES…alls I’m saying is…there should be some damn consequences to voting to put Kavanaugh on the court esp with all the shit we ALREADY know about.

  154. 154
    SFAW says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    If he loses this, he will be knifed. Everyone hates him; he maintains power in his caucus because he delivers. The moment he doesn’t, he is done.

    [Looks around for a (textured vegetable protein) goat to sacrifice to the gods, hoping they will make it so.]

  155. 155
    lamh36 says:

    Trump Mocks Al Franken for Resigning From Senate After Misconduct Claims https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/trump-mocks-al-franken-resigning-senate-misconduct-claims-1149574 via @thr

    Trump: “Boy did he fold up like a wet rag, huh? Man, he was gone so fast. He was gone so fast, I don’t want to mention Al Franken’s name, okay, so I won’t mention it”

  156. 156
    randy khan says:

    @Ruckus:, as

    I also would consider the possibility that Manchin’s calculation is that there is some chance he may never have to say how he’s voting, as McConnell is unlikely to bring the vote to the floor without 50+1. Never saying how he would have voted probably is a big plus for Manchin in the campaign.

  157. 157
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Ruckus: @lamh36: If he votes yes, then fuck him. He is a Dem from WV; if he feels he play Hamlet for a while, I am okay with that. All I care about is his actual vote.

  158. 158
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Fukuyama is 50 lbs of stupid shoved into a 5 lbs bag.

    In these degraded times, one of the few pleasures I have, is to see Brad Delong “compliment” his peers (and wannabe-peers) by calling them “smart” and other synonyms. It’s almost always a way of saying “wow, he really did screw that pooch, didn’t he?”

    Yeah, Fukuyama really, really, really got that one wrong. But OTOH, to be in that timeline! Oh man, to be in that timeline.

  159. 159
    Kay says:

    @SFAW:

    I hate when they use their families to garner sympathy. I think it’s inappropriate to use your family like a shield. I assumed he loves his children and his parents. He really doesn’t need to continue to remind me every time he hits a bump in his career plans. A lot of people have children and everyone had or has parents. I don’t pull mine out when things are going bad at work and I wish others would stop doing it. Leave them out of it.

  160. 160
    cthulhu says:

    Doesn’t it seem weird that McConnell would go ahead with a vote on Saturday with one man down? Things are tight as it is. Why not just postpone to Monday when Daines is back? This sorta suggests he wants to be done regardless if that means a loss. Honestly I think that is his best course of action because there are other crazies waiting in the wings who will likely sail through. But this seems like perhaps kabuki to fire up the base for Kavenaugh but not actually delivering at the last moment so that the Dems are not as insanely fired up if K gets through. Is that the calculus?

  161. 161
    lamh36 says:

    @Ruckus: Last I recall, Manchin is the ONLY Dem on record as “undecided”. the red state Dems so far, with Heitkamp declaring her NO voted today have all said it’s a NO from them, am I missing any Dems?

  162. 162
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yeah, but they let the Ford allegations be pretty much the sole focus of whether or not Kavanaugh should be on SCOTUS. There are many other reasons. They rarely pounded the table about his partisanship, his history, his anger, his drinking, his lying. Should have been a full-court press on the “multitude of examples of unfitness”, etc etc.

    Hindsight being 20/20 and all that…;)

  163. 163
    Jay says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Nope, 70 stone of Privileged Brit NeoImperialist Stupid stuffed in a manure bag.

  164. 164
    M31 says:

    Q: What do you call a gross smear stuck to a piece of toilet paper?

    1) a shitstain
    2) the President of the United States
    3) but I repeat myself

  165. 165
    Ruckus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus:
    I’m agreeing with you here as well, just filling in a bit more.
    I know he doesn’t look the part but mitch is a bully. That’s how the republican party works. It’s how it’s always worked in my lifetime. And like all bullies, all his power is in what people think he will do to them. Once it’s clear that he’s got nothing, that’s really what he ends up with, nothing. The power of congressional leadership these days is not what can I, will I, do for you, but what will I do to you. And once that power is gone….. It’s the old trope about harsh punishment makes people obey. Really it just makes them hate you for doing whatever to them. Once they find out/figure out that what will I do to you has no real power, you are right, he’s done.

  166. 166
    lamh36 says:

    One of President Kennedy’s favorite quotations was based upon an interpretation of Dante’s Inferno. As Robert Kennedy explained in 1964, “President Kennedy’s favorite quote was really from Dante, ‘The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in time of moral crisis preserve their neutrality.'”

  167. 167
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    Speaking of lbs, did you all know the origin of that abbreviation: http://mentalfloss.com/article.....d-“oz”

    I just learned this a couple of weeks ago and was embarrassed that 1) I didn’t know it and 2) that I had never even wondered before.

  168. 168
    Jeffro says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    It does seem the Republican party is faking its confidence that Kavanaugh will be confirmed despite the well-founded misgivings, even among Republican Senators, about his fitness for the Supreme Court bench, which seem fatal to his chances.

    All part and parcel of the terminal case of Trumpism the GOP caught a while back…fake confidence in unethical people/proceedings, bluster, bombast, disregard for genuine concerns and good governance, all leading them down paths they’d never go down if…well ok, they would, it would just take a LOT more Koch money when in this case they’re doing it out of fear of Orangemandias’ base. But still.

    Hey GOP, you broke it, you bought it!

  169. 169
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @lamh36:

    red state Dems so far, with Heitkamp declaring her NO voted today have all said it’s a NO from them

    Can I just say, Claire McCaskill is the Lebron James of the Dem Senate caucus? I mean, she’s from fucking MISSOURI, and she’s been STALWART like all-get-out. I mean, her seat is the MOST vulnerable seat in the Dem caucus, but you would’t know it, from the way she votes.

    *respect*

    P.S. Yes I know she’s no Senator Professor Warren! Yes, I know! But then, SPW is from Massachusetts. My Senator (ex-AG gonna-mess-you-up-with-some-serious-jail-time Senator Kamala Harris) is from California! That’s EASY compared to being from MIZZOU. Damn! Damn!

  170. 170
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    @lamh36: I think you’er right,

    and candidates are starting to weigh in

    Dennis Welch@ dennis_welch
    New: ⁦in a statement, Democratic candidate for Senate @kyrstensinema⁩ says she opposes the confirmation of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

    this is getting expensive, but I feel compelled to send in $25 bucks

  171. 171
    Tenar Arha says:

    @germy: I’ve never wanted to write a Senator an unbroken full page of curses, inventive &/ simply profane, in my life.

    May this entire party of creeps & enablers spend the rest of their lives unable to exist in peace or privacy in public ever again.

  172. 172
    cthulhu says:

    Also, if Manchin votes yes, that’s personal preference – his vote no won’t derail his re-election.

  173. 173
    Jeffro says:

    @lamh36: Sounds like a variation on MLK Jr.’s famous quote about white folks who sat on the sidelines during the civil rights struggle.

  174. 174
    Ruckus says:

    @randy khan:
    Good point.
    I’d just wonder why that might be for him to go there. He’s a dem, at least in theory so what is going to happen to him in his state if he votes no? Of course we are not the ones doing the calculations for our political lives here.

  175. 175
    janesays says:

    @Chetan Murthy: McCaskill’s seat is highly vulnerable, but it’s far from the most vulnerable among the red state Democrats.

    That honor belongs to Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, who is down by ten points in the most recent poll.

  176. 176
    Another Scott says:

    @lamh36: 1) Manchin knows how to win in WV.

    2) Manchin isn’t on the Judiciary Committee.

    Why should he announce in advance of the Committee vote how he would vote on the floor? Maybe it’ll blow up there, Kavanaugh will finally withdraw or be thrown under the bus, and Manchin won’t have to decide which way to vote on the floor for him.

    Plus, still being officially undecided since he hasn’t finished reviewing the FBI “report” is good politics. Even if, as we all (rightfully) suspect it is a sham “report”.

    I think we need to be patient before we conclude which way he might vote.

    If we live in WBGV, then of course we should be letting him know how we feel…

    My $0.02. :-)

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  177. 177
    lamh36 says:

    @cthulhu: Exactly my point. He is in a position to vote NO on conscious or integrity, or even unease at the way the GOP has gone about ramming this appointment through and the sham of an FBI investigation.

    If he votes, yes it’s a calculated reason, or the simplest answer is … he doesn’t believe Dr Ford…and ALLL the Kavanaugh red flags means NOTHING to him. A YES vote says to me…that Manchin PERESONALLY believes in Kavanaugh…and there should FUQ’N be consequences for that vote, if it happens, esp when it’s a stand he doesn’t seem to need to make.

    I’m a Black woman, living in a blue city in a blood red state. I sure as hell know, no candidate is perfect, but DAMN…I’d like to think the Dem candidate I vote folks at least sees the moral hazard in voting to put this dude on the SCOTUS…

  178. 178
    PsiFighter37 says:

    @Chetan Murthy: As a long-time reader of Balloon Juice, I am highly suspicious of your postings. You haven’t been here very long, and your posts read like a Russian bot trying to instigate fervor.

  179. 179
    Martin says:

    @cthulhu: Flake seems to be recognizing that people are angry to the point that they’re nudging toward extra-democratic actions. The whole argument for democracy is that it helps keep people from resorting to violence. Flake saw that fraying when he was standing in that elevator. Clearly other GOPs are seeing that. They wouldn’t be putting barricades around Congress if they weren’t worried about that.

    Time is not on the GOPs side. What’s going to go down on Sat? How many more of Kavs colleagues are going to speak out? Nothing is coming to help Kav.

  180. 180
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    Just got in the car and caught the last few seconds of Lawrence O’Donnell. Apparently Amy Schumer was among the protesters arrested at the Capitol today.

    She is Chuck Schumer’s cousin.

    I think that’s kind of cool, somehow.

  181. 181
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @janesays: Two thoughts:

    (1) yes, recent polling tells us Heitkamp’s the most vulnerable. And she’s stalwart about Rapey-K, too. Which is … *admirable*! HUZZAH! So glad I donated to her campaign!

    (2) but McCaskill’s been rated most-vulnerable all summer, no?

    I’m not trying to argue. Just to note that, well, she’s pretty damn vulnerable, and she’s been pretty damn stalwart for all that.

  182. 182
    Mary G says:

    Ann Laurie or one of the commenters mentioned Adam Serwer’s piece in the Atlantic about how cruelty is the point with Trump and his supporters, and they look more and more like wife beaters.

    When conservatives are doing something they know is wrong, the tell is that they say liberals are forcing them to do it. It’s how they reconcile their stated principles with the ones they practice.— Adam Serwer 🍝 (@AdamSerwer) October 4, 2018

  183. 183
    SFAW says:

    @Jay:

    70 stone of Privileged Brit NeoImperialist Stupid stuffed in a manure bag.

    You sure about the “70”? Ain’t many people in the world who weigh that much

  184. 184
    janesays says:

    Manchin won’t be the deciding vote to confirm Kavanaugh – if Collins and Murkowski both vote “no”, Manchin will vote “no” as well. The only way he votes “yes” will be if his vote doesn’t matter.

    He sucks, but he’s not going to jam the knife in the back of his own party on this one.

  185. 185
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Another Scott: That is my position as well.

    @janesays: And this.

  186. 186
    SFAW says:

    @PsiFighter37:

    You’re kidding, I assume. Chet hasn’t been here as long as you, but he’s been around for awhile.

    ETA: Chetan – I hope you don’t mind the “Chet,” since that’s how you used to post, I believe.

  187. 187
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @PsiFighter37: I don’t know how I could convince you that I’m for real, other than to suggest that you could look me up on Google, or opensecrets, or whatever. I don’t use a pseudonym, and if you look at my comments over time, you’ll find that they match with my documented history on the Internet.

    I’m not saying Senator McCaskill is as great as SPW. Just that, given the state she’s gotta win, she’s pretty damn amazing. I continue to review in my mind’s eye the shitstorm she threw quite a while ago about some GrOPer plan to destroy the ACA. That was brilliant.

  188. 188
    Another Scott says:

    @Another Scott: Sorry. The committee has already voted, of course. Strike that bit.

    But keep the rest.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  189. 189
    lamh36 says:

    @Another Scott:

    1) Manchin knows how to win in WV.

    Ok, then well, I guess there’s no need for me to continue talking about Manchin and WV. I’ll stick to Louisiana politics I guess…

    Good night BJ

  190. 190
    Another Scott says:

    @janesays: +1

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  191. 191
    Redshift says:

    @Another Scott:

    Why should he announce in advance of the Committee vote how he would vote on the floor?

    The committee voted last Friday. The vote tomorrow is a cloture vote for a vote of the full Senate on Saturday.

  192. 192
    Jay says:

    @SFAW:

    One has to add in the shit they spew.

  193. 193
    Mary G says:

    NYT Editorial Board weighs in with a no: Of course, they start off with a lot of both sides blather in the first graphs, but then they get down to business:

    Yet unfair as the test might seem to the judge and his supporters, senators who want to preserve the credibility of the Supreme Court cannot now look away from the result: Judge Kavanaugh failed, decisively.

    How? First, he gave misleading answers under oath. Judges — particularly Supreme Court justices — must have, and be seen as having, unimpeachable integrity. The knuckleheaded mistakes of a young person — drinking too much, writing offensive things in a high school yearbook — should not in themselves be bars to high office. But deliberately misleading senators about them during a confirmation process has to be. If Judge Kavanaugh will lie about small things, won’t he lie about big ones as well?

    Indeed he already has: During the course of his confirmation hearings, he claimed, implausibly, that he was not aware that files he received from a Senate staff member, some labeled “highly confidential” or “intel,” had been stolen from Democratic computers.

    Even the small lies, of course, aren’t so small in context, since they relate to drinking or sex and thus prop up his choir-boy-who-indulged-now-and-then defense.

    I may be wrong, but I continue to think that he may not get in. There were spontaneous protests in LA and DC tonight, and these Republicans are acting strange.

  194. 194
    Another Scott says:

    @lamh36: I’m not saying that. Not at all. Sorry if it came across that way. I’m not the thread police here – talk about what you want!

    It’s just good to remember, as OO said, that several times Manchin had the opportunity to do what the conventional wisdom said that WV voters wanted, and instead did what the rest of the Democrats did. (The PPACA bills are an excellent example.) And survived.

    I’ll be with you if Manchin’s vote helps put him on the SCOTUS. But I don’t think that’s going to happen. Yes, he voted for Gorsuch, but his vote didn’t matter as all 51 Republicans voted for him.

    HTH a little.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  195. 195
    Another Scott says:

    @Redshift: Yup. See #188. Conference-fried brain, there.

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  196. 196
    PJ says:

    @Kay: Whenever someone shows up for an interview with their family members (or brings the whole girls’ basketball team!) I am immediately convinced that they are guilty of whatever they have or haven’t been accused of. Family members aren’t lawyers, and shouldn’t be used as shields.

  197. 197
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    Sen. Patrick Leahy @ SenatorLeahy
    Judge Kavanaugh’s stunning decision to pen an op-ed bluntly confirms he has neither the judgment nor the temperament to be on our highest court. He can’t erase blaming credible sexual assault allegations ‘on the Clintons,’ attacks on senators, and vows of revenge with an op-ed.

    Brian Beutler @ brianbeutler
    It was unfortunate of Sonia Sotomayor to rant incoherently about the Koch brothers and bark at Jeff Sessions about his “alleged” Klan sympathies, but we were all touched when she wrote that apologia in the New York Times–”I Am Actually Wise, I Swear”–and all was forgiven.

  198. 198
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jay: That’s a lot of stone!

  199. 199
    Jim, Foolish Literalist says:

    also, neither Kavanaugh nor Kellyanne nor Jethrene could figure out that publishing in the WSJ was just going to underline the partisanship? they think Roberts and Collins and Flake wouldn’t have seen it in the NYT or the WaPo?

  200. 200
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brickley Paiste: I did.

  201. 201
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:
    I’ve always wondered why anyone ever took seriously Fukuyama’s notion that human history was coming to a steady-state end. History doesn’t work that way. A historian should know that better than anybody else. People, economies, technology, the environment — these factors, and not just them, don’t remain static in the long term, because they simply cannot. (I even remember James Tiberius Kirk, of all people, pointing out this flaw in Fukuyama’s argument in one of the Star Trek movies.)

  202. 202
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SFAW: He may be thinking of John Podhoretz or Fred Kagan.

  203. 203
    SFAW says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    That’s a lot of stone!

    Are you calling Jay a stoner?

  204. 204
    SFAW says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    J-Pod is big, but not 70-stone big.

  205. 205
    FlipYrWhig says:

    @Kay:

    a do-over on his opening statement.

    He’s trying to be clever, which he isn’t, by pretending to be contrite for his opening statement when the only thing he’s actually possibly contrite about is the (far more likely to have been spontaneous) exchange with Klobuchar about whether *she* had blacked out from drinking.

  206. 206
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mary G:

    and these Republicans are acting strange

    How could you tell?

  207. 207
    Brickley Paiste says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Well, I didn’t need any confirmation that you are smarter than I am. I knew that already. (Except for the whole living in Florida thing …)

  208. 208
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Amir Khalid: Fukuyama is a neo-Con with a sinecure at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS). At the time he wrote it, it was guaranteed because of who he was and where he taught, to get read. It didn’t matter that it was crap. It’s like the plagiarized, cooked data crap that Bob Putnam pumps out. Or Skocpol’s crap using Putnam’s cooked data set. They get published and read and talked about because they’re Putnam and Skocpol.

  209. 209
    Anya says:

    @Chetan Murthy: I hear you. I get it but my heart hurts. Sometimes, you have to do the morally right thing. This time requires that. I think it’s because everyone is trying to satisfy the awful people we end up reinforcing those ideas. Sometimes, good people taking risks and taking a clear principle stand can make a positive change.

  210. 210
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @SFAW: Have you seen him in that sweater he wears on MSNBC? I’m amazed Nicole Wallace hasn’t started calling him Grimace.

  211. 211
    Amir Khalid says:

    @Jay:
    Few grown men weigh just 70lbs. 70kg is 154lbs, about a stone more than I weigh right now. 70 stone is 980lbs, way way past the threshold of morbid obesity for a man although not the greatest body weight ever recorded. (That would be 1,400lbs.)

  212. 212
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brickley Paiste: It isn’t a matter of smarts. Simply I’d been informed about the origin a long time ago.

  213. 213
    Kay says:

    @PJ:

    I feel like it it puts a burden on people- :but look at MY FAMILY – how could you do this to them? Do what? Ask you questions about the three assault allegations?

    I didn’t bring them in this. He did. Also for God’s sake stop bragging about volunteer work. It’s an ordinary (but admirable!) thing to do and you;re not supposed to trade on it. List it on the resume if you must but that’s all you get. He’ll have to build a school before he gets the LeBron treatment. Pony up. I have high standards :)

  214. 214
    dww44 says:

    @Kay: Glad you mentioned some of that early on Kavanaugh testimony. He was trying too hard from the get-go;one knew that he was covering something up.

  215. 215
    Kay says:

    @FlipYrWhig:

    exchange with Klobuchar

    If Brett learned anything at Georgetown Prep he learned that you don’t bully the popular kids. A tactical error on his part. One he immediately remedied, unlike insulting and vowing revenge on half the country, which took him a week to figure out.

  216. 216
    Barbara says:

    @Jim, Foolish Literalist: Comments at WaPo would have been brutal. NYT might have turned them off. WSJ probably offered the space. And really, he wasn’t testifying as a father, son, etc., but as a prospective justice and what he showed was that when he gets challenged he goes on a partisan rampage.

  217. 217
    J R in WV says:

    @TaMara (HFG):

    I look forward to the endless investigations and subsequent charges against SC Kavanope and hope that his reputation is so completely destroyed he resigns in humiliation and defeat, after his wife leaves him and his kids never speak to him again.

    Just wondering, do you really expect “Judge” Kavanaugh gives a tiny little shit about his wife and daughters? I don’t. Not the tiniest little bitty fragment of shit does he care about any woman or girl.

    Just look at how he acts with women and girls.

    Rape and hate.

    Fuck this guy.

  218. 218
    PJ says:

    @Amir Khalid: They took it seriously because it enshrined the then-current Republican (largely neocon) point of view as triumphant and perfect, with no need to change for any future circumstances. As you note, anyone with any knowledge of history, sociology, or psychology, or even just a little self-awareness of how fucked up they personally or their neighbors were at the time, would know that Fukuyama was full of shit, but it fed into the self-congratulation that was predominant among “serious” people in the media in the early 1990s.

  219. 219
    PJ says:

    @Kay: But he was first in his class at Yale and Georgetown Prep, Kay! For God’s sake, does that mean nothing now?!!

    ETA: Kavanaugh is someone who has gotten by so far solely on his resume and the boots he has licked, and he is surprised that it is not quite sufficient to overcome his real world behavior in guaranteeing him a seat on the Supreme Court.

  220. 220
    Ocotillo says:

    Any chance of convincing Collins and Murkowski to go independent and start to caucus with team D? Might actually help Collins in ME and tea baggers rejected Murkowski last time anyway.

  221. 221
    Chetan Murthy says:

    @Anya:

    Sometimes, you have to do the morally right thing.

    When it comes to -my- personal actions, I agree. When it comes to the actions of people in my life, I also agree. But we’re talking about our tribunes here. If Rapey-K isn’t seated, Yertle can and will seat somebody else. Yes, that somebody else probably won’t use the Constitution for toilet paper the way Rapey-K will [on behalf of Donnie Smallhands] but still it’ll be pretty awful. If the choice you faced were (a) vote NO on Rapey-K (and get Amy Corey Barrett) and a GrOPer Senate majority, or (b) vote YES on Rapey-K, and get a Dem majority in the Senate ….. which would you choose?

    Second try: maybe those two choices aren’t the only ones? *Maybe* voting NO on Rapey-K might actually push Manchin to a win? I don’t know. Maybe somebody else. I have to believe that he’s getting good intel. But it’s possible that those choices up above are not the only ones.

    “Let me come in again”: Back to your words. Yes, we can’t NEVER do the right thing. This is why I think it’s important than when the Dems are in control, they need to do good things. And they did it: they passed the ACA, at GREAT cost in seats, and they were right to do it. They did the moral thing, they paid for it, and they’re unapologetic. But this really only works when you’re in the majority; otherwise, you lose a seat and you gain …. nothing.

    Anyway, my 2c

  222. 222
    Jay says:

    @Amir Khalid:

    Somewhere under that great big steaming pile of neocon shit, is little Francis,

    You have to weigh them together.

  223. 223
    Vhh says:

    @lamh36: The GOP wives could go Lysistrata on their hubs. Yes on Kav means No Sex.

  224. 224
    cthulhu says:

    @lamh36:

    I’m a Black woman, living in a blue city in a blood red state. I sure as hell know, no candidate is perfect, but DAMN…I’d like to think the Dem candidate I vote folks at least sees the moral hazard in voting to put this dude on the SCOTUS…

    Sadly you are in the same position many left/liberal/Dems are. The cities in the south, midwest, and west are islands of blue but also, due do several reasons, are under-represented compared to rural areas. Hell, living in LA, I have the same issue though the balance in the state is so extreme it matters less. This is a reform that needs to happen but few are talking about it.

  225. 225
    Spinoza Is My Co-Pilot says:

    @Vhh: I don’t think this is remotely the case. Very low probability that maybe one or two women married to some GOP senator(s) have urged a Kavanaugh “no”, but I doubt even that. Republican women are the kapos of misogyny, which is why polls show 2/3 of such people support Kavanaugh’s nomination (that’s millions of women, BTW). GOP senators’ wives are a very select and highly-compensated subset of that group, and I believe they support Kavanaugh’s promotion to the SCOTUS in even higher percentages — in near if not total unanimity (for political power reasons, whatever their personal feelings). They’re the Carmela Sopranos of the GOP (much like Melania and daughter-wife Ivanka).

  226. 226

    […] to Adam L. Silverman at Balloon Juice, as of last night it was still a near thing whether or not there were enough votes for cloture.  […]

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