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  1. #26
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    Supreme Court drama exposes an uncomfortable truth

    A DRAMATIC day in America’s Supreme Court controversy has exposed a disturbing and infuriating double standard.

    Sam Clench@SamClench

    news.com.auSEPTEMBER 29, 20186:47AM


    Brett Kavanaugh: Christine Blasey Ford's testimony shakes America






    YESTERDAY’S dramatic public interrogation of US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and one of the women accusing him of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford, was disturbing on so many levels.
    The hyper-partisanship which now infests American politics turned the Senate hearing into a farce. Democrats, desperate to stop Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination, believed Dr Ford’s allegation as a matter of faith.
    They had judged Mr Kavanaugh guilty before he sat down. Instead of asking Dr Ford for evidence, they delivered speeches praising her courage.
    Meanwhile, Republicans acted as though Dr Ford, the alleged victim here, were on trial. They brought in a prosecutor to interrogate her, and called the claims against Mr Kavanaugh an “unethical sham”.
    Both sides were there to score political points, when they should have been searching for the truth.

    Christine Blasey Ford. Pic: APSource:AP

    Dr Ford’s testimony was dignified, moving and believable, as she gave the Senate Judicial Committee a raw account of the alleged attack.
    She said Mr Kavanaugh pinned her down on a bed, attempted to strip off her clothes and covered her mouth when she tried to scream.
    “It was hard for me to breathe, and I thought that Brett was accidentally going to kill me,” she said.
    It didn’t change the fact that no proof has yet emerged to corroborate her story, but it did destroy the conspiracy theory that she was lying about Mr Kavanaugh for political reasons. No one could watch Dr Ford’s performance and doubt her feelings were genuine.
    The accuracy of her memory is still up for debate.
    Mr Kavanaugh, who appeared immediately after her, was equally emotional. But in contrast to Dr Ford’s quiet anguish, he radiated anger.
    Mr Kavanaugh furiously denied her claims and labelled them an effort to destroy his life. He avoided talking about Dr Ford directly, instead aiming his fury at the Democrats.
    “This confirmation process has become a national disgrace,” the judge said.
    “This has destroyed my family and my good name, a good name built up through decades of very hard work in public service at the highest levels of American government.
    “This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit, fuelled with apparent pent-up anger about President Trump and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons.
    “This is a circus. This grotesque and co-ordinated character assassination will dissuade competent and good people of all political persuasions from serving our country.”
    Mr Kavanaugh was snappy and sarcastic in his responses to senators’ questions. He clearly felt extremely aggrieved.
    All of which is understandable. If Mr Kavanaugh has indeed been falsely accused of a sickening crime, he has every right to be mad.
    But his performance, and the fulsome praise it drew from many viewers, exposed an uncomfortable double standard in American society — one which extends to our own.
    Men are allowed to be angry. They’re allowed to rant and rave; to occasionally behave beneath the dignity of their office. Women are not.

    Mr Kavanaugh radiated grievance. Pic: APSource:AP

    That double standard didn’t go entirely unnoticed.
    “Imagine an alternate reality where Dr Ford had yelled, cried, engaged in self-pity and interrupted senators with snarky questions. How do you think that would have gone for her?” asked columnist and CNN analyst Kirsten Powers.
    “Can you imagine if a woman came to this hearing and had a temper tantrum and screamed and interrupted senators and behaved in the manner in which he has? She’d be taken out of the room in a straight jacket,” former federal prosecutor Cynthia Alksne told MSNBC.
    “And instead, because he’s a guy, it’s acceptable behaviour. And the President undoubtedly will be proud of him because he’s fighting back.”
    Whether you think Mr Kavanaugh is guilty or innocent — or, perhaps more wisely, admit you can’t be sure either way — it is undeniable that a woman in his position could not have got away with the same behaviour.



    For a classic example, look no further than Hillary Clinton.
    I am not a fan of Ms Clinton, nor am I among those who think she was robbed in the 2016 election. She lost because she was entitled, arrogant and out of touch.
    But she was also a victim of the infuriating double standard between women and men.


    Does anyone seriously believe Ms Clinton could have got away with cheating, repeatedly and unrepentantly, on three different spouses? Donald Trump did.
    If a tape had surfaced of her bragging about grabbing men’s private parts, and was followed by more than a dozen allegations of sexual misconduct, do you think her campaign would have survived? Mr Trump’s did.
    Would voters have forgiven her for viciously lashing out at a war hero, or the family of a fallen soldier, just because they had the audacity to criticise her?
    Of course not. Two years later, Mr Trump’s supporters still haven’t got over Ms Clinton’s one serious gaffe of the campaign, when she called them “deplorables”.
    It is obvious that Mr Trump was held to a far lesser standard of behaviour than his opponent.
    Was it because Republican voters have lower expectations of their politicians? Good luck making that argument stack up, when Democrats have spent much of the last three decades defending their own creep, Bill Clinton.
    The truth is, Mr Clinton and Mr Trump both enjoy the extraordinary latitude in acceptable behaviour that comes with being a man.



    Among the many thoughtful and legitimate defences of Mr Kavanaugh that have emerged in the last week, there has also been one particularly insidious argument.
    “We’re talking about a 17-year-old boy in high school with testosterone running high. Tell me what boy hasn’t done this in high school, please. I would like to know,” a former Republican congressional candidate, Gina Sosa, told CNN. She wasn’t alone.
    We are talking about a boy allegedly restraining a 15-year-old girl against her will, trying to rip off her clothes and covering her mouth to stop her from screaming.
    When did such horrifying behaviour start to fall under the “boys will be boys” defence?
    That so many people are pushing for Mr Kavanaugh to be immediately confirmed to the Supreme Court, the most dignified institution in the United States, when he stands credibly accused of attempted rape is disgusting.
    Many avenues of investigation remain untouched. Democrats are pushing for the FBI to examine the case, and their partisan motives notwithstanding, they are right.
    This is a lifetime appointment. Once Mr Kavanaugh is on the court, he will stay there for at least the next 30 years. No one should want to rush into this decision without all the facts.
    If a thorough investigation discovers no evidence to support Dr Ford’s story, then by all means give Mr Kavanaugh the job.
    But in truth, his angry, partisan performance yesterday may have proven he isn’t fit to sit on the Supreme Court anyway.
    A woman with his temperament wouldn’t even be on the shortlist.


  2. #27
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    Did somebody ask also him whether somebody helped him to write his emotional speech? (like they asked Ford)...
    And how long did it take to exersize his emotions in front of mirror when he reaches the remark: "crying"?

    Anyway, it seems there are no other serious problems to be attended (by the trustful population) than this...

  3. #28
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    WASHINGTON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - A dramatic last-minute demand by Republican Senator Jeff Flake on Friday prompted President Donald Trump to order an FBI investigation into his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh over sexual misconduct allegations that have riveted the country and imperiled his confirmation chances.

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Klondyke View Post
    And how long did it take to exersize his emotions in front of mirror when he reaches the remark: "crying"?
    It was pathetic. To burst into tears because his daughter wanted to pray for "the woman" was highly planned. Praying, lovely daughter, tears. A soap opera.
    It may not mean anything, but we now know that Ford is referred to as "the woman" in the Kavanaugh household.
    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    prompted President Donald Trump to order an FBI investigation into his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh over sexual misconduct allegations
    What's the chances that there is a restricted scope and that we'll never know what restrictions Trump made. Something like, "OK, I want you guys to question Ford. Ask things like what did she have for breakfast that day 36 years ago, and don't ask for any corroboration, OK?"

  5. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    WASHINGTON, Sept 28 (Reuters) - A dramatic last-minute demand by Republican Senator Jeff Flake on Friday prompted President Donald Trump to order an FBI investigation into his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh over sexual misconduct allegations that have riveted the country and imperiled his confirmation chances.
    A political, between a rock and a hard place, decision by Trump and no doubt the Republican members of the judicial committee. A "supplemental" no more than 1 week FBI investigation. A bone thrown to minimize a strong anti republican womens turnout at mid terms.

  6. #31
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    I may have missed it in which case someone will put me straight, but I would like to know why she spoke up after >3 decades, and then why to the politicians and media instead of the police, why she's terrified of flying though it turns out she flies regularly for business/career needs, more often than most people I know, and wtf made her think she could dictate terms before giving evidence.

    The cynic in me says this was a convenient disruption of the confirmation proceedings with the deadline soon to expire, and when that happens it will quietly vanish.

  7. #32
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    also posting this here because it's so great...


  8. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by raycarey View Post
    also posting this here because it's so great...


  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabir View Post
    I may have missed it in which case someone will put me straight, but I would like to know why she spoke up after >3 decades, and then why to the politicians and media instead of the police, why she's terrified of flying though it turns out she flies regularly for business/career needs, more often than most people I know, and wtf made her think she could dictate terms before giving evidence.

    The cynic in me says this was a convenient disruption of the confirmation proceedings with the deadline soon to expire, and when that happens it will quietly vanish.
    Yeah, this is what the rabid Republicans are saying to discredit her allegation.
    Fact is that it's not at all unusual for students to say nothing at the time. As the Republican from Maine, Susan Collins has said in Ford's defence, sexual assault is the most under-reported crime.
    Another fact that says Ford's allegation is highly credible is her therapist's notes from years ago. She told both her husband and her therapist.
    On top of that, Ford brought the allegation up BEFORE Kavanaugh's nomination.

    Then consider this: Kavanaugh's defence was political. He made a strenuous denial, but then accused the Democrats of orchestrating this debacle. Surely a judge should judge on the merits of the case and not speculate any political angle?

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by jabir View Post
    I may have missed it in which case someone will put me straight, but I would like to know why she spoke up after >3 decades, and then why to the politicians and media instead of the police, why she's terrified of flying though it turns out she flies regularly for business/career needs, more often than most people I know, and wtf made her think she could dictate terms before giving evidence.

    The cynic in me says this was a convenient disruption of the confirmation proceedings with the deadline soon to expire, and when that happens it will quietly vanish.
    1. she mentioned it to family, friends and therapists in the past.
    2. she contacted her member of congress and the confidential washington post tip line well before kavanaugh was nominated. his being on trump's short list (with a score of others) is what prompted her to action.
    3. why shouldn't she attempt to set the terms of her testimony? anyone would do the same, i think.
    4. agreed....the flying thing is sketchy. i'd wager is was a tactic to help set the terms of her testimony.

  11. #36
    Thailand Expat jabir's Avatar
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    He wouldn't be the first guy to sexually assault a woman and she wouldn't be the first woman to make a false allegation of sexual assault, but having watched both sets of testimony >30 years after the event or non-event I can see no evidence more compelling than word vs word.

  12. #37
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    She has apparently taken a polygraph test, which she passed. Though they are not fool-proof, it would be interesting to see the results of tests by Kavanaugh and by Mark Judge, the other guy she says was present.

    And on that note, what has Mark Judge said about the accusation? He seems to be silent on it. Odd, or not, considering the importance of the issue. (Or have I missed his statement or testimony on this?)
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  13. #38
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    Unable to hide his anger, emotions or political partisanship, how the hell can this guy be a judge let alone a top judge?





    Oh, it's the USA. That's probably why.

  14. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    how the hell can this guy be a judge let alone a top judge?

    The American Bar Association had concerns about Kavanaugh 12 years ago. Republicans dismissed those, too.

    The group’s judicial investigator had recently interviewed dozens of lawyers, judges and others who had worked with Kavanaugh, the ABA announced at the time, and some of them raised red flags about “his professional experience and the question of his freedom from bias and open-mindedness.”

    “One interviewee remained concerned about the nominee’s ability to be balanced and fair should he assume a federal judgeship,” the ABA committee chairman wrote to senators in 2006. “Another interviewee echoed essentially the same thoughts: ‘(He is) immovable and very stubborn and frustrating to deal with on some issues.’”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/polit...=.6f13a89f2334

  15. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dragonfly View Post
    he is not going to get confirmed
    we'll see....but the odds have dropped significantly with the FBI now interviewing all of these women who said he sexually assaulted them.

    not to mention the guy who was allegedly in the room when one of the assaults took place.

  16. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by raycarey View Post
    when one of the assaults took place.
    Alleged assaults Reacharound!

  17. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    And on that note, what has Mark Judge said about the accusation? He seems to be silent on it. Odd, or not, considering the importance of the issue. (Or have I missed his statement or testimony on this?)
    Avenatti was baiting Judge to say something before he (MA) disclosed his stuff.
    Judge was smart in not taking the bait and just keeping shut.

  18. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neverna View Post
    Unable to hide his anger, emotions or political partisanship, how the hell can this guy be a judge let alone a top judge?
    Huge, HUGE and most pertinent question. Put aside he's a liar, put aside he may be a sexual assualter, these things are vastly important and are beyond question to be facts.
    The guy is emminently unsuitable.

  19. #44
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    Yup, typical American politics, Mid-term elections a bit more than a month away and America is mesmerized by a supreme court nominee.

  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    America is mesmerized by a supreme court nominee
    ...a nominee who could vote to disallow abortion and deny federal recognition to gay marriage...he's an entitled Republican hack chosen to placate the Christian right...if selected, he could, with his conservative colleagues, do years of damage to social progress in the US...which is exactly why he was chosen...
    Majestically enthroned amid the vulgar herd

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    ...a nominee who could vote to disallow abortion and deny federal recognition to gay marriage...he's an entitled Republican hack chosen to placate the Christian right...if selected, he could, with his conservative colleagues, do years of damage to social progress in the US...which is exactly why he was chosen...
    Exactly right.

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by tomcat View Post
    ...a nominee who could vote to disallow abortion and deny federal recognition to gay marriage...he's an entitled Republican hack chosen to placate the Christian right...if selected, he could, with his conservative colleagues, do years of damage to social progress in the US...which is exactly why he was chosen...
    'tis why we seat nine folk...

    Doesn't really matter, the repubs can, and most probably will, push the nomination through. Their problem is the mid-terms, gotta dance around this one, make a good show of purported supporting the accuser and anti-sexual harassment, etc. while still supporting their party. Time to put on the tap shoes...

    damn the constituents, full speed ahead...

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowie View Post
    'tis why we seat nine folk...
    ...a 5-4 conservative majority is all that's needed to satisfy the Christian right...Kavanaugh (or any similarly partisan appointee) gives them that majority...

  24. #49
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    Just a few short weeks ago we get this -

    Aug 29, 2018: WASHINGTON ― Senate Democrats just gave a huge gift to President Donald Trump: They agreed to expedite votes on 15 of his nominees to lifetime federal court seats because they wanted to go home.

    Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (Ky.) had lined up votes for all those district court nominees last week. Normally, Senate rules require up to 30 hours of waiting time for each nominee ― something Democrats typically take advantage of to delay action on confirming Trump judges. But Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (N.Y.) cut a deal with McConnell on Tuesday to bypass the wait times and let them all get through.

    Why? So Democrats could get back to campaigning and focusing on winning re-election in November. The Senate is now out of session until next Tuesday.

    Of the 15 nominees, six were confirmed by voice votes on Tuesday. Another one was confirmed on a recorded vote. The remaining eight will get quick votes next week.

    It’s a major win for Trump and McConnell, whose No. 1 priority is filling up federal courts with conservative judges ― many of whom are incredibly anti-abortion, anti–LGBTQ rights and anti–voting rights. Trump has gotten 26 circuit court judges confirmed, more than any other president at this point in his term. Another way of putting it: 1 in 7 U.S. circuit court seats is now filled by a judge nominated by Trump.

    Add that Trump put Neil Gorsuch on the Supreme Court and is poised to get another justice through, Brett Kavanaugh, and you’ve got a president drastically reshaping the nation’s courts for generations.

    - and now, we're worried about a single nominee but, it ain't vacation time anymore

  25. #50
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