October 3, 2018

Kavanaugh Update

On Monday, “Arizona prosecutor Rachel Mitchell — who was hired by Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee to ask questions of Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford during last week's hearing” sent a memo to GOP Senators stating “she did not believe ‘a reasonable prosecutor would bring this case based on the evidence before the Committee.’"

Axios

In addition, “GOP aides on the Hill and another person familiar with the process said they were expecting the bureau to conclude its report as soon as late Tuesday or early Wednesday.”

Wall Street Journal

See past issues

From the Left

The left continues to support Ford. They argue that several statements made by Kavanaugh during the hearing were false, which calls his credibility into question.

According to a defense attorney who worked for Mitchell as a sex-crimes prosecutor, “victims are often unable to pinpoint the exact date of an attack, and Mitchell’s office... will often bring charges for an act that can’t be narrowed down to a more specific time period than a window of several years. ‘I was trained explicitly by her to not consider this time thing as an inconsistency,’ he said."

Mother Jones

“The existence of a ‘he said, she said’ does not mean it’s impossible to figure out the truth... If a man claims to be innocent, but does things—like carefully manipulate words to avoid giving clear answers, or lie about the evidence—that you probably wouldn’t do if you were innocent, then testimony alone can substantially change our confidence in who to believe."

Current Affairs

Kavanaugh’s testimony included numerous falsehoods:

  • Kavanaugh “stated that three witnesses have refuted Christine Blasey Ford’s allegation… The three swore they had no recollection of the party — providing no support for Ford’s accusations… But their statements do not disprove the allegations, either.” AP News
  • “He claimed that multiple references to him and his friends being ‘Renate alumni’… were merely included on their yearbook pages to show their affection and admiration for her… That must have been why one of his classmates, joining in the show of ‘affection,’ included a poem: ‘You need a date / and it’s getting late / so don’t hesitate / to call Renate.’” Washington Post

“The little details Kavanaugh lied about... aimed to paint a picture of him as being incapable of the act he was accused of committing. They weren’t trivial misstatements; they actually matter, and speak [to] his overall credibility relative to Ford’s. Finally, and perhaps most importantly: He lied under oath.”

Vox

Kavanaugh needs two things to be true... 1) He drank regularly in high school and college, at times to excess. 2) None of those times -- NONE -- did he ever forget anything he had said or done. Not. Once.”

CNN

Regarding the Cadillac tax, “high-premium employer-based plans raise the cost of health care for everyone by encouraging the overconsumption of expensive services. This means that even Medicare and Medicaid face higher prices. Quite aside from its benefits for the health-care market, the Cadillac tax would also have the effect of expanding the tax base and making the tax code more efficient. It would raise revenues by about $15 billion a year… Rather than killing or delaying the Cadillac tax, Democrats should be trying to make it operational. The tax would raise revenue, lower costs, increase the efficiency of the tax code and give the Obamacare individual market its best chance at success.”
Karl W. Smith, Bloomberg

“The two issues with which he is most often associated, support for a balanced budget and opposition to free trade, put him at odds with both of our major political parties. An old-fashioned, soft-spoken Southerner, he nevertheless held views on so-called ‘social issues’ that would be to the left of the mainstream of the Republican Party, both then and now. He was a fervent supporter of the Vietnam POW/MIA movement in the late '80s and early '90s, but he was not in any sense a hawk. Never mind 2003. Perot opposed the first war in Iraq in 1990… Perot's death should be mourned by all Americans who regret the fact that it is no longer possible to make reasoned, non-ideological arguments about questions of public import, and by the devolution of our political life into mindless partisan squabbling.”
Matthew Walther, The Week

From the Right

The right questions the inconsistencies in Ford’s testimony. They also view the allegations of excessive drinking and lying under oath against Kavanaugh as disingenuous, and are critical of mainstream media coverage.

From the Right

The right questions the inconsistencies in Ford’s testimony. They also view the allegations of excessive drinking and lying under oath against Kavanaugh as disingenuous, and are critical of mainstream media coverage.

According to Mitchell, “Ford ‘has not offered a consistent account of the alleged assault’—when it happened and what occurred—and has even ‘struggled to identify Judge Kavanaugh as the accuser by name... While it is common for victims to be uncertain about dates... Dr. Ford failed to explain how she was suddenly able to narrow the timeframe to a particular season and particular year.’"

Wall Street Journal

Many argue that “on nearly every question and issue, the tenor of the press — shockingly — mirrors the tenor of the Democrats... [journalists] should care every bit as much about disproving the allegations of Swetnick, Ramirez, and — yes — Ford as proving them... you’re not supposed to have a team. It’s fine if you support the #MeToo movement in your private time, but you’re not supposed to lend any movement aid and comfort, never mind air cover, in your reporting."

National Review

“With public doubt rising about Ford's contradictory evidence, the [Democratic] party shifted attention to Kavanaugh’s fondness for beer and his propensity for high school jokes when he was in, er, high school."

Washington Examiner

“Judge Kavanaugh never claimed he always drank in moderation... The Times and others have gathered testimonials from classmates who say they heard the judge ‘slur his words’ and saw him ‘staggering’ from alcohol consumption, as if this were proof that he blacked out from drinking. But of course Judge Kavanaugh never denied that he slurred his words or staggered. He said he never blacked out."

Wall Street Journal

“The most ridiculous tranche of perjury allegations have to do with Kavanaugh’s yearbook entry... It doesn’t require stepping back very far to realize how preposterous it is that teenage tomfoolery in a high-school yearbook is now deemed relevant to the ascension of a D.C. Circuit judge to the U.S. Supreme Court...

"It’s certainly true that Kavanaugh tried to minimize the least admirable aspects of his adolescence... but there is no evidence he lied.”

National Review

The Kavanaugh goalposts have moved dramatically... why are Democrats, now that they have finally won the FBI investigation they wanted into the sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh, suddenly making a bigger deal of his drinking?"

Washington Examiner

“NBC and MSNBC embraced Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts in the first debate of Democratic presidential candidates Wednesday night, treating her like the star of the show. The debate led off with Warren, who had a huge popularity advantage from the start… NBC anchor Savannah Guthrie started it off sounding more like Warren’s press secretary. ‘You have many plans – free college, free child care, government health care, cancelation of student debt, new taxes, new regulations, the breakup of major corporations,’ Guthrie said, before teeing up an economy question. Guthrie even used Warren’s plan to break up tech companies as the foundation for a question for Sen. Cory Booker of New Jersey… the round-robin final comments also ended with Warren, as Maddow asked her for the ‘final, final statement.’ That let NBC bookend the entire debate with Warren and Warren.”
Dan Gainor, Fox News

President Trump should be happy. As much as Warren is articulate, obviously intelligent, and energetically supported by Democrats, she would also be far easier to defeat than Joe Biden… Considering Trump's economy, the president is well placed to defeat Warren.”
Tom Rogan, Washington Examiner

A libertarian's take

“The fans who avidly followed the men’s tournament certainly weren’t doing anything wrong. And it’s hard to argue that each of them had a moral obligation to be exactly as interested in women’s soccer. Even if we could stop them from watching the men more than the women, should we?…

“It’s tempting to answer that the fan choices aren’t innocent, they’re sexist. But since we can’t peek into their hearts, to say that definitively, we’d have to assume that men’s greater speed, strength and endurance definitely make nodifference to the sport’s quality. Fair enough, but then why do fans prefer to watch Megan Rapinoe play instead of the sedentary elderly who could presumably use some exercise? Alternatively, maybe pay should be equalized precisely because biology is unfair. But that seems to be an argument for curbing the pay of all top-level athletes, who have to hit the genetic lottery just to get on the field. It might be easier to focus on the distributions across society at large, rather than every individual industry, especially when fundamental biology is in play.”
Megan McArdle, Washington Post

On the bright side...

People love this Maine woman who makes artwork out of moose poop.

Boston Globe

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