September 21, 2018

Anita Hill and Keith Ellison

We're officially on Insta! Did I throw on a blazer at 5 am for all you lovely people? You bet I did!

“A lawyer for Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser, professor Christine Blasey Ford, told a U.S. Senate committee on Thursday that Ford would be prepared to testify next week if the terms are fair and her safety is ensured.” Reuters

The left deems Ford a credible witness and thinks her accusation should be taken seriously. The right does not believe the allegation should disqualify Kavanaugh, as there is not enough corroborating evidence on either side to definitively determine what occurred 35 years ago, and resists further delay of the confirmation process. The Flip Side

While the credibility of Ford’s accusation continues to be debated, the two sides are drawing very different comparisons to the current situation.

The left sees many parallels between Kavanaugh/Ford and the 1991 confirmation hearing of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas. “During the televised hearings, which lasted three days, Anita F. Hill, who then taught at the University of Oklahoma’s law school, detailed allegations of workplace sexual harassment by Judge Thomas, who was her supervisor at two government agencies. And Judge Thomas forcefully denied the accusations, claiming they played into stereotypes of black men.” New York Times

The right is focused on Keith Ellison, Deputy Chair of the DNC and the Democratic nominee for Minnesota Attorney General, who has been accused of physical and emotional abuse. On Tuesday Karen Monahan, Ellison’s ex-girlfriend, shared medical records indicating she had told her doctor that Ellison was abusive while they dated in 2016. Another woman, Amy Alexander, previously accused Ellison of abuse in 2005 during an alleged affair. Roll Call, Star Tribune

See past issues

From the Left

The left believes Anita Hill was treated unfairly in 1991 and urges Congress to do better this time around.

“More than a quarter century ago, a university professor named Anita Hill was abused, shamed, and ignored by the U.S. Senate—just for having the courage to go before the Judiciary Committee and describe how she’d been sexually harassed by Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas... Senators tempted to treat Ford unfairly ought to remember how their treatment of Hill helped lead to 1992 becoming the ‘Year of the Woman.’"

American Prospect

“Hill’s testimony was groundbreaking, even if it didn’t spark a full feminist revolution. This time around, our senators have a chance to demonstrate that things really have changed since 1991. And if they don’t, then the rest of us... must make them pay an electoral price so significant they won’t ever again think they can shunt women’s voices aside to clear the way for men ascending to power."

Vanity Fair

Anita Hill herself noted that “there is no way to redo 1991, but there are ways to do better." The Senate should “select a neutral investigative body with experience in sexual misconduct cases that will investigate the incident." Furthermore, it should “not rush these hearings... hastily appraising this situation would very likely lead to facts being overlooked that are necessary for the Senate and the public to evaluate."

New York Times

Regarding the deployment of an aircraft carrier and bombers, many note that the US “has a long history of provoking, instigating, or launching wars based on dubious, flimsy, or manufactured threats… The most egregious case was the U.S. invasion of Iraq, in 2003, which was based on bad intelligence that Baghdad had active weapons-of-mass-destruction programs. The repercussions are still playing out sixteen years (and more than four thousand American deaths) later… The sense of foreboding is tangible.”
Robin Wright, The New Yorker

Trump's “goal, it seems, is to put so much pressure on Tehran that it has no choice but to completely change its behavior — but he could end up leading the countries to the brink of war in the process… Now is typically the time when cooler heads prevail, but it’s unclear if there are cooler heads around… It’s hard to overstate how avoidable this situation was.”
Alex Ward, Vox

“In theory, there’s no reason why a bad businessman can’t go on to become a good president. But a commander-in-chief whose signature legislative achievement expanded tax loopholes that he himself describes as grossly unfair is pretty much a bad president, by definition.”
Eric Levitz, New York Magazine

From the Right

The right alleges hypocrisy in the disparate treatment of Kavanaugh and Ellison.

From the Right

The right alleges hypocrisy in the disparate treatment of Kavanaugh and Ellison.

“Monahan, an active Democrat, and her son seemingly have no motive to lie about Ellison’s behavior, and three friends of Monahan and her work supervisor also said she confided Ellison’s abuse to them at the time it is alleged to have happened. She has provided medical records showing that she discussed the alleged abuse (and her fear of retribution from Ellison, who is named in the medical record) with her physician and her work supervisor.”

National Review

“Unlike the allegation against Kavanaugh, these charges are recent, specific, and the alleger claims to have documentary proof of the abuse/assault, a video which she has thus far not released publicly. Furthermore, there is another on-the-record allegation of similar abuse in 2005, far more recently than the Kavanaugh allegation, when Ellison was not just an adult but a public figure and running for Congress."

Hot Air

“Over in Minnesota, the media have a full-blown scandal brewing for a high-ranking Democrat who is running for higher office as we speak. They have the ‘who,’ they have the ‘what,’ they have the ‘when’ and they have the ‘where,’ and they have evidence to back it all up. Sounds like the kind of story political reporters would kill for. So where is the coverage?"

Washington Times

“The broader context here is North Korea's crop crisis. If Kim hasn't got sanctions relief by August's end, a painful winter is coming… Absent Kim's commitment to suspend all ballistic missile tests, the U.S. should not support the provision of food supplies to the North Korean people. A North Korean long-range nuclear strike capability poses an existential threat to American society… Trump must not allow North Korea's coming suffering to dictate his decisions. Supporting North Korea with food will both prolong North Koreans' suffering under Kim and directly undercut U.S. interests.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

Some argue, “It stands to reason that if Kim is willing to starve his own people, deprive his economy of any growth, and pour billions of dollars into missile tech, he will, at some point, develop weapons America and its allies mastered decades ago. And short of an invasion or a diplomatic agreement, under the present circumstances, there is very little we can do to stop him… Taking a hardline approach—what many call the ‘big deal’—or only granting sanctions relief after full denuclearization and the end of Kim’s missile programs is completely impractical and something North Korea would never agree to… only a step-by-step process of disarming Pyongyang, where each side gets a benefit for making a concession, will work.”
Harry J. Kazianis, The American Conservative

Others posit that “the reason Kim is developing missiles that can strike Seattle or LA is that 28,000 U.S. troops are in South Korea… If we cannot persuade Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons in return for a lifting of sanctions, perhaps we should pull U.S. forces off the peninsula and let China deal with the possible acquisition of their own nuclear weapons by Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan…

“After an exhausting two weeks [between North Korea, Iran, Venezuela, and others], one is tempted to ask: How many quarrels, clashes and conflicts can even a superpower manage at one time? And is it not the time for the United States, preoccupied with so many crises, to begin asking, ‘Why is this our problem?’”
Pat Buchanan, Townhall

“The Democrats want to talk to Don McGahn, and maybe they will ultimately prevail in court to get his testimony, but what’s the point? McGahn talked extensively to Mueller, and surely everything remotely damaging is already in the report

“Congress has the report, and now it is up to it to decide. But it doesn’t want to. It’s too painful to admit that the Mueller report was a bust on Russia and that the obstruction material, while damaging to Trump, is hardly a slam dunk; that the public doesn’t support impeachment; that if the House goes through with it anyway, it will end with a whimper in the Senate; and that it’s better for Democrats to focus on beating Trump in 2020 than a forlorn impeachment.”
Rich Lowry, National Review

A libertarian's take

“The scoop reflects poorly on Trump, who willfully misled the public for a decade in hopes of fraudulently representing himself as a man with a Midas touch. But he could not have succeeded without the assistance of many Americans, some mercenary, others over-credulous, who helped to spread the deceit and deception, generating countless newspaper articles, magazine stories, and TV segments that misinformed the public about the publicity hound’s record in business. New evidence of his staggering losses in that decade therefore provides an apt occasion to reflect on the media’s complicity in Trump’s brazen deceit and deception… Let [this] be a lesson for today’s tabloids, gossip columnists, over-credulous or mercenary journalists, and reality-television producers.”
Conor Friedersdorf, The Atlantic

On the bright side...

A night in a cottage made entirely of chocolate? Yours for just €50.

The Independent

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