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For The Record

{A Trigger Warning That Isn’t: This post talks about Ford v Kavanaugh, but doesn’t contain any details regarding the alleged crime itself, focusing instead on the ability to verify dates and contemporary testimony.}

One of the biggest questions resulting from the questions involving Bret Kavanaugh’s alleged attempted rape in high school is whether, in fact, he did it. Sexual assault cases are hard to prove under most circumstances, and attempted sexual assault even moreso. Once you add in a thirty year time differential, people are correct to say that we will never know what truly happened. You have your opinions, I have mine. We can talk until we’re blue in the face, but we will never know for sure.

This isn’t really about Kavanaugh and Ford, though. It’s about our ability and inability to construct a series of events. What was the night in question? Was Kavanaugh there? Who else was there? What were they saying at the time? Ford’s case depends in part on what she told a therapist in 2012, and what she told friends in 2017. It occurs to me that while sexual assault cases will never be easy or hard to disprove, a lot of them might become easier over time. Because whether we like it or not, we have records now involving everything and it’s just becoming more comprehensive and more permanent. To the point that the absence of a record will, unlike this case, be a sort of record on its own.

As luck would have it, I have been going through old emails. Like, all of them. Well, to be more precise, all of them from about 1999 on. I have been opening old long-forgotten PST (email archive) files, Thunderbird directories, free email accounts I have long since stopped using, and everything I can find. I’m putting them all in one place. It has reintroduced me to people and things very long forgotten. There are some love interests I still don’t remember, but most of them have jogged on some memories. Some better than others.

There have also been a lot of areas that I mostly steered clear of. Because I remember the story. I remember keenly how it ended. Or how good it was until it did. Or how miserable it was throughout. There are also friends I had a falling out with. Friends that have died. You get the idea. But if I wanted, I could reconstruct some of my relationships with surprising depth. Just using emails.

I started interacting with girls with flirtatious intent back in 1996. Or, at least, that’s when I started doing so without a complete lack of success. While I have been romantically involved with more than four individuals, it actually breaks down relatively cleanly between Jane (1995-96), Julia (1997-2001), Eva (2001-03), and Clancy (2003 on). Separating this into “eras” helps me place communications in any given year. Going in reverse order, I have the emails I traded with my future wife right after we first met. I have the blog post I wrote after the weekend where we met, that she read and knew instantly that I felt the connection too. (I thought I was being subtle.) I have some of the down times, too. It’s all there.

This is even more true of Eva, with whom I traded a lot of emails. I even have chat logs, though that’s because I am a packrat. Since we emailed and AIMed so often, I could reconstruct just about every week. It would bring back memories I have long since forgotten. I could probably account for most of my weekends during that period, just from my communications with her. The same is true with regard to the end of my relationship with Julia, but not the beginning. Some of that is that we were emailing each other a lot more as things were slowly falling apart over the last 12-18 months. If you knew where to look, you could also find a lot more in my conversations with others. Likewise, you could piece together a lot of Julia’s relationship with the guy that came after me by looking at emails between Julia and myself.

And then there’s Jane. And with Jane, I have almost nothing. In terms of my personal archives, it’s like she never existed at the time when she existed most. We had extensive cybercommunications, but it was all on BBSes and the records were destroyed. The only traces I have of her are actually from years and years later, solely as an artifact of those records being automatically (or routinely) kept, and not because of any personal significance.

Along those lines, I have a lot of emails with less significant people in my life from the later years, while some of the most important things from earlier in my life are completely unrecorded.

I mention all of this because I have been asking myself in light of Kavanaugh, what would I be able to prove if there were some sort of accusation? Not just me, but people around me. If someone told me something that would later indicate that they weren’t making something up, would I have a record of it? If somebody needed an alibi for a time we were together, would I have it? It just depends on when.

As far as email goes, it’s the Eva Era that is probably the best. So much of my life was recorded in emails to this person or that one. If I needed to account for my time with someone during that period, it’s probably in email. Before that, it was more likely lost to BBSing or telephone calls. After that, there is a lull as communication transitioned to unsaved texting, but then it’s on Facebook and later Google Hangouts and there start being records again just not of the email variety. A lot of my text messaging did get lost, but starting a couple years ago I started using an app called Pulse that keeps everything for me. Eventually I expect all of them will keep everything for you, and the records will be permanently stored, just waiting for a subpoena.

Despite some ebb and flow, however, everything is trending in a particular direction. We talk about this when it comes to the NSA and all of that, but it will also have an effect when it comes to needing to know where we were and when. And it’s not just text. I have little in the way of photographic evidence of anything up until 2002 or so when I bought my first digital camera and could take pictures without getting them developed. And then in 2010 or so I got my first smartphone with a camera good enough that it could substitute for the digital camera, and I could take pictures anywhere. And it shows. If I need to know when I took a trip somewhere, I can find it in my photograph archives. And those, too, are being backed up automatically.

All of this is to say that the notion of not knowing things in our personal history, and not being able to check and subpoena them, is passing. You will likely never know what happened at any given party at any given time, but you will be far more likely to know what people were saying about it at the time.


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Will Truman is the pseudonym of a former para-IT professional who is presently a stay-at-home father in the Mountain East. He has moved around frequently, having lived in six places since 2003, ranging from rural outposts to major metropolitan areas. He is also on Twitter. ...more →

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202 thoughts on “For The Record

  1. It’s an interesting topic. But just like you can never be confident that a record is gone, you can never be confident that it isn’t. Older systems may not be compatible with newer. Files get corrupted. There are backups and mirrors, sure. But do they meet forensic standards? Is the creation date on a snip of a spreadsheet admissible? There are also ways of avoiding documentation.

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    • There is some truth to this, especially as it pertains to a lot of the stuff I’m talking about above, but less and less over time. File formats and whatnot are less and less likely to be in binary form and more likely to be in streaming form. That makes them modestly easier to forge, but *a lot* harder to corrupt. And to forge them, you would need to be an expert. I am probably more skilled in this area than 95% of the public, and no way I would risk jail-time by trying it. So many ways to get caught.

      And, of course, every email and text message has at least two participants, which makes it even harder and more risky to try anything, which in turn makes it a more reliable form of evidence. This makes email different from a spreadsheet.

      But the biggest thing, I think, is the lack of control you have over it anyway.

      There are a lot of forensics you can run to determine whether or not something has been forged and it would require a lot of skill. I am probably more qualified than most (most of my email work actually involved taking emails that were sent to my Yahoo account and moving them over to my Google account, thinks like that. Basically putting emails in email boxes where they originally weren’t) I would not risk jail-time over my skills (unless I was the accused and almost certain to go to jail otherwise).

      And also, there are at least two parties to every email and every text message.

      But even further beyond that, with everything being on the cloud, it gets even harder. To take the spreadsheet example, yeah you can spoof the date most likely on your own computer, but it’s hard to spoof it on Microsoft’s or Google’s server. They have their own records. And Verizon has records of my text messages when I was with them, and I assume AT&T does now. So even if I could hack the Pulse directory in my GoogleDrive, I run the substantial risk that what I have will be at odds with another source of the data.

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      • Will:

        I’m somewhere in between you and on this. Or maybe it’s the case that you and he (and I) are both agreeing but emphasizing different things. I do agree that digital records* make it more likely going forward that there will be some records of what happens. I also agree that we probably more and more lack control over such evidence.

        But I’m also skeptical that these records will last that long or will be retrievable or discoverable. And your point about emails (for example) being in the hands of at least two people is a good point, but the context may potentially be lost if only one person’s copy is found.

        I’m very ignorant of the technology involved. I have only the slightest notion of what a “cloud” is. I have a stronger notion of what a “server” is, but even then I’m a bit unclear. But two hats I wear regularly make me skeptical that digital records will play out quite as you suggest:

        1. My historian’s hat: Technology requires people to make affirmative decisions to implement and perpetuate. It requires an infrastructure that must be maintained. The decisions to build and maintain this infrastructure exist in time and in society. In other words, we (as a society and a polity) may lose the will to maintain this infrastructure. [ETA: That’s true of analog records, too, but perhaps not as true. Analog records can last longer under more “passive” preservation measures than digital records, which require more “active” preservation measures. As a counterpoint, however, digital preservation allows for more redundancies and safeguards, which partiallymitigates the need for active management.]

        2. My archivist’s hat: Information exists in context and that context contributes a great deal to the meaning of any given piece of information. It’s hard to reconstruct context in the digital world. (It’s hard in the non-digital world, too, but the digital world seems to be a new animal.) Digital preservation is difficult and costly. Discovery–finding the information or even finding out if the information is likely to be there–can be more difficult. Digital preservation is even more difficult and costly because it’s more “active” and less “passive” than preservation of analog items usually is. The surfeit of information is very hard to sift. It might even approach impossible.

        Again, though, digital records are more information than before. In many cases, such as in the examples you describe, they’re extant information where there wouldn’t have been any such information.

        *For lack of a better word

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  2. I just finished restoring an old wooden machinists chest, a place to keep all of those little things that accumulate on top of a dresser. One of those accumulations was a tin box that I have kept all the… for lack of a better word, love letters I have received over the years. I met and started dating C. (the wife) at the same time as you and Clancey it seems, but I don’t think I ever had an email address for any of my past flames. As I am about a decade older than you (I think) it just never seemed to come up. This might be due to not having a computer at home until about ’02. Used them at work, but wasn’t something I was interested at the time for home use. We wrote letters, all of which I have saved, and that would be how I would open a window to this part of the past.

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  3. Speaking of Kavanaugh, NPR reports that one of Ford’s classmates, who the media had been contacting because she’d posted that the attack DID happen and many of her classmates heard about it, now says that she has no idea whether it did or not. She was just wanting to support her classmate.

    Miranda says she played soccer with Ford — whom she refers to as Chrissy — in high school and that she continues to support her. Miranda added that despite not knowing specifics of what went on at the party three decades ago, she remembers that there was a “buzz” that went around the weekend of the party in question about an alleged incident involving students from her school and Kavanaugh’s.

    It is something, she said, that was not surprising to hear given the culture of drinking and partying, but she remembers being struck by the “gravity” of what was being talked about.

    Based on my experience in high school, if there was something grave that was being talked about, and if it were what Ford alleges, then there’s no way almost everyone wouldn’t have known about it, including Kavanaugh’s two girlfriends. He was captain of the basketball team and definitely not a nobody. The bigger the stature, the juicier the gossip. In this case, he would’ve been trying to cheat on his girlfriend, so everyone would’ve told her about it, to stir up trouble if nothing else.

    Absent a digital record of events, we can look to the recollections of their classmates. Those here who completed high school know how the HS rumor mills work. Many of those rumors are epic. Any good one would be remembered by dozens and dozens of people at a class reunion.

    Today the students would likely say “video or it never happened”, but for centuries courts have been able to dig out things that are very close to the truth just by interviewing people, or at least those people who are willing to provide testimony.

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    • Despite believing Ford, I was wary of that claim as soon as it arose. However, one of the problems I had it was because the way it was described it *wouldn’t* have been in the rumor mill. She says that she told nobody. Everybody else in the room was potentially implicated and (again, if it’s true) Kavanaugh himself was unsuccessful* so I don’t even think there would be bragger leaks (and additionally, there is a non-trivial possibility that he and Judge and the others were blackout drunk at the time.

      So just as I was skeptical of her story because of the probable lack of a rumor mill, I also do not believe that said lack absolves him. This is where having emails and text messages would come in handy.

      As for the Woman in Spain (who posted on Facebook and Twitter), I don’t even think she was doing it out of activism. Note how she ran as soon as she got media attention. She didn’t want it. What she wanted was to insert herself into the story and her friends to say “Wow!” That’s my theory, anyway.

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      • If only there was some third party professional, federal bureau of investigation that could dig into this, interview people, and uncover testimony!

        Alas, the Constitution, or the Bible, or something demands that we confirm this judge by Monday.

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        • The FBI doesn’t handle such cases. The party would need to cross state lines or something to get FBI involvement. They also won’t find your lost socks.

          Refusing to provide testimony until there’s an FBI investigation that can’t happen is a big red flag. it’s simply a refusal to provide testimony. Feinstein isn’t letting anyone on the committee see the letter Ford sent her in June, which is another red flag. Perhaps it starts out with something like “I am willing to claim that…” We don’t know because Feinstein won’t let anyone see it.

          Another suspicious facet is that Ford sent the letter to Feinstein so that Feinstein wouldn’t bring up the claim, so that Ford wouldn’t be exposed to scrutiny. If that was her goal, it would’ve been infinitely easier to just not send the letter to a US senator.

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            • They’ve already done multiple background checks on Kavanaugh. Everyone except Ford says he’s an incredible guy, even when he drinks beer. No classmates have come forward to confirm Ford’s charges, and everyone she named has flatly denied the charges, as have other people who ran around with Kavanaugh, such as his EX girlfriends.

              I would venture that Ford had no idea how popular Kavanaugh was with his peers, and that he’s still very close to all of them. She-said, he-said is instead she-said – almost his entire high school class said otherwise.

              Ford’s lawyer bizarrely said that her client should NOT testify so the committee can uncover the truth. Her strategy seems to center around her client never providing sworn testimony, which is a very smart legal strategy if she knows the claims are false.

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                • And exactly what would they investigate? The accuser said she never told anyone, so there’s no way to corroborate her story except by questioning the four people who’ve flatly denied there was any such party, backed up by other classmates who never heard of the party.

                  The accused isn’t providing details as to the year or location, so there are no leads to pursue in that regard. Normally they could look into the accused’s alibi, but without a year and a place no alibi is possible, other than the general concensus from Kavanaugh’s friends and ex-girlfriends that he simply never behaved as described, even when drinking, every single day of the year.

                  Isn’t it great to make charges so vague that they can’t be defended with an alibi?

                  By the way, only 19% of independents think the charges are credible.

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                  • *shrug* I think the point isn’t that the FBI doesn’t do background checks and investigate potential disqualifiers; its that the investigation would likely be somewhat perfunctory as you describe… taking two sworn testimonies, following-up with the small number of folks identified… [see if anything turns up or anyone else comes forward]… present “findings” which quite likely leave us where we are today… but with sworn affidavits.

                    On the blue side, I think there’s some over-determining what an “investigation” would look like, and on the Red side, I think there’s some trepidation that the investigation would take weeks and months.

                    Worst case scenario for Blue team is a 3-5 day investigation; worst case scenario for Red team is 1) Somone/Something is uncovered that corroborates Ford’s story or, 2) Kavanaugh’s affadavit is perhaps more nuanced than his denial to Sen. Hatch.

                    However, I can’t really see a valid reason not to “investigate” the matter as part of the background check… but… unless there’s some really game changing new information or evidence that comes to light… we’re not going to get CSI: Supreme Court Edition. And, the investigation doesn’t start with FBI gumshoes wandering around Bethesda knocking on doors, it starts with sworn complaint from Dr. Ford (or whatever the proper legal terminology would be).

                    The fact that no-one will be satisfied with the results nor probably even the process, doesn’t mean we don’t do what’s right.

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                    • I don’t think there’s any chance Ford will provide a sworn complaint, and I’ll bet she’ll be unwilling to meet with FBI investigators. Lying to the FBI gets people sent to jail. We’ll have to wait and see what she does, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on an investigation.

                      The FBI would of course need to see the unredacted letter that Ford sent to Feinstein, but Feinstein isn’t letting anyone see that. Feinstein has said that she has no idea if the allegation is true, and I gather she herself doesn’t believe it because she had a private meeting with Kavanaugh and never raised the topic, nor did she raise it with any of her colleagues – at least until they needed a last ditch excuse to delay the vote.

                      Keep in mind that this comes after Schumer had been outed as having a conference call on how to get protestors to disrupt the hearings (paying them helps), and after having Senate Democrats submit over 1,200 written questions to Kavanaugh, more than was submitted to all prior Supreme Court nominees combined, and yet Feinstein just sat on Ford’s letter.

                      And of course any investigation would have to dig into what was going on at Ford’s school. According to their yearbook, it was lots of racism, partying, and drunken debauchery. From their own description, the girl’s school was a bunch of proud sexual predators.

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                      • If Ford won’t provide a statement to the FBI, then the investigation is over before it started.

                        Given that it was Ford’s lawyer (IIRC) that introduced the FBI investigation thing, I’m disinclined to think she won’t provide a statement. But sure, that statement might be more nuanced as well… or not… I have no idea.

                        Either way, if there’s an accusation, let there be an accusation. Else we move along.

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                        • If Ford won’t provide a statement to the FBI, then the investigation is over before it started.

                          Given that it was Ford’s lawyer (IIRC) that introduced the FBI investigation thing, I’m disinclined to think she won’t provide a statement. But sure, that statement might be more nuanced as well… or not… I have no idea.

                          The FBI thing is a red herring, and the FBI doesn’t work for the legislative branch. There’s two typical reasons why the FBI would be involved.

                          First, the FBI does background checks on Presidential nominees as a courtesy from the executive to the Senate. Those have already been completed for Judge Kavanaugh (as others have mentioned they have been completed multiple times for multiple nominations).

                          They are also the main criminal investigative agency of the federal government. Something that has been hinted at (but not emphasized enough) is that this accusation has already been referred to the FBI for this purpose, by Sen Feinstein. The FBI is not interested in it, they have publicly said so.

                          The problem with this sort-of impasse is that this woman has made an accusation without foundation and is very likely lying. And I want to emphasize without foundation in a particular literal-ish sense. That is, Kavanaugh appears in this story like Athena sprang from the head of Zeus. He just shows up with no real reason for belonging there.

                          There are very few assertions of fact in this allegation. There’s a house in Montgomery County, proximity to a country club, a couple vague notes about the inside of this house, the presence of Kavanaugh, Ford, Mark Judge, PJ Symth, and an unnamed female classmate of Ford. That’s it, the entire factual foundation of this allegation.

                          No that this has dragged on for a few days and in the face of Kavanaugh’s categorical denial, this is ridiculous. It’s completely plausible that an actual victim of a situation like this wouldn’t remember everything, but she definitely would remember something.

                          In terms of the factual assertions we do have, Kavanuagh, Judge, Smyth have all denied that this house party ever happened. If there were any more concreteness added to the story, it would only become clearer that it is false.

                          The fundamental reality of the Trump era is this. Libs are having a very difficult time coping with the psychological trauma of not being in power and having their values seemingly repudiated.

                          She’s lying.

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                    • There’s more spilling out.

                      Kavanaugh’s lies about not knowing that Kozinski was a serial harasser, the allegation that Kavanaugh liked his clerks to look “a certain way”, all point to a lack of character and judgement.

                      It appears more an more, that this entire pipeline of prep school-Ivy League college- high profile law firm is a cesspool of abuse and impunity.

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                      • *shrug^2* That’s not “more coming out” that’s just political noodle tossing trying to see what sticks.

                        One of the defining elements of #MeToo and various abuse scandals is the publicity drawing out other victims so that solidarity gives them strength to come forward. Its not proof that the event didn’t happen, but it is conspicuous that others are not coming forward (yet). That or some sort of corroboration from another person and/or corroborating evidence (a yearbook thing a’la Roy More) or some such is what would constitute “stuff coming out” – if this is just a one-time event and not a pattern. And, if there’s no pattern of serial abuse, and there’s no corroborating evidence after an FBI investigation… there’s nothing left but politics.

                        Confirm Kavanaugh or Nominate someone else or don’t confirm Kavanaugh… all will have their political ramifications in 2018 and beyond – for both sides.

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                      • It appears more an more, that this entire pipeline of prep school-Ivy League college- high profile law firm is a cesspool of abuse and impunity.

                        Something I’m pretty sure everyone can agree on. I’d even go so far as to say that pipeline is a huge part of the reason we have a near weekly post on how the police abused their powers today.

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                          • Would it be overly broad to connect this pipeline to the Catholic Church, Hollywood, and most other institutions of elite and privileged, and to say they all have a terrible problem with misogyny and mistreatment of women?

                            Because Hollywood moguls, elite law professors, archbishops, and corporate elite all swim and breathe in the same waters?

                            I’m not seeing this as all a random outliers of anomalies; I’m seeing a pattern of pervasive culture.

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                            • Earlier this week Linus Torvalds, the creator of Linux, announced that he would be temporarily turning his responsibilities wrt the Linux kernel over to other people while he got some (apparently professional) help with his people-interaction issues. The announcement included a straightforward apology to the people who have been on the receiving end of his abuse over the years.

                              Linux kernel development has a long-standing reputation as being very hostile towards female developers in particular.

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                                • Also yesterday, the Linux Foundation issued a new Code of Conduct that forbids harassment based on a number of things including gender, gender identity, etc. If I were to guess, I’d guess that a group of the big corporate contributors have had enough and threatened to cut off their funding, or even to fork the project. Some of the Twitter and mailing list threads today are… disturbing. There seems to be a nascent group trying to organize people to rescind their contributions — which is allowed under the GPLv2 that Linux uses — until the “SJW nonsense” is withdrawn.

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                                    • Especially those who were/are working on an employers’ dime, who almost certainly have a conduct code that looks like the new one at the Foundation.

                                      My only first-hand contact with Linux kernel developers was 25 years ago with a group at Swansea University (Wales) who were rewriting the whole network stack. I had a project that really needed a couple of the new features they were adding. They got me advance copies of the code, helped with the one problem I had getting it to build, and followed up multiple times to see if I had encountered problems (one bug I could work around that they traced to a single line of code). Highly professional all around. But Alan Cox, whom I mostly dealt with, wasn’t Linus.

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                                  • There seems to be a nascent group trying to organize people to rescind their contributions — which is allowed under the GPLv2 that Linux uses

                                    Not that I’m aware of. The writers of the license seem to agree:
                                    https://www.gnu.org/licenses/old-licenses/gpl-2.0-faq.en.html#TOCCanDeveloperThirdParty

                                    As someone who has licensed code under the GPL, I’m pretty certain people who think they can un-GPL their code are rather incorrect.

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                                    • IANAL so am probably not competent to have an opinion on the question, but… GPLv2 seems to have some gray areas. For the GPLv3, the FSF added an explicit no-retraction clause. The FSF always encouraged the use of “licensed under the GPLv2, or any later versions” to allow future fixes to apply back to old code; the Linux kernel is explicitly GPLv2 only.

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                      • the allegation that Kavanaugh liked his clerks to look “a certain way”, all point to a lack of character and judgement.

                        Below is a picture of his 2014-2015 female law clerks. The 2nd from the right certainly wasn’t chosen for her looks and that’s after dressing up for photos. Tomorrow this Trump-like spam of manipulate emotions attack statement(s) will be dropped in favor of something else.

                        So these are low budget character assassination lies.

                        https://bloximages.newyork1.vip.townnews.com/brownsvilleherald.com/content/tncms/assets/v3/editorial/d/6e/d6e08e2b-3e8d-5dba-935f-ae46f866d407/5b8a8094edf46.image.jpg?resize=760%2C516

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                          • Fairly attractive, but not Hired On The Basis Of Their Looks attractive, IMO.

                            And really, really, really, we need a stronger foundation before we start suggesting that these women got the job because of their looks. All we have right now are some speculative comments from Chua.

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                            • Okay, I see where the confusion is. From what I understood of Chua’s comments, she is claiming the looks of female applications _influence_ his hiring policy. She is saying ‘I believe that the attractiveness of women is one of the things he bases his hiring decisions on. (And thus I made sure they looked as attractive as possible when applying.)’.

                              This not the same as ‘Women who work for Kavanaugh got hired solely, or even majorly, because of their looks.’ She is stating a _bias_, not the entirety of the process. At most she’s stating a filter.

                              All those women are at least moderately attractive and reasonably thin. They look like the sort of women that would make it through such a filter.

                              Now, I have absolutely no idea what the applicant pool looked like, and it’s possible that’s what they all looked like (Not as crazy as it sounds when you look at how the intern system works.), or Chua is wrong.

                              But it is also possible she as right and there are some unattractive, or larger bodied, or whatever women, that were basically excluded from his consideration because of their looks.

                              My actual point was this picture proves nothing at all. Show me a picture of an overweight intern, or with a crooked smile, or whatever. Don’t show me a picture of…not-supermodels, all of whom look reasonably attractive, despite the fact they are under _really bad_ lighting. (Seriously, whoever took that photo should not be allowed to take photos. The middle three people are _shiny_.)

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                              • Again, we are being asked to evaluate this man’s character for a critically important position.

                                What about his behavior would cause Ms. Chua to think this of him?
                                Is she credible? A serial liar? Were there others who thought this of him?

                                The burden of proof here is not on us, but on him.

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                              • Chua’s comments are more substantial than that, though, as are the insinuations of most of the accusations I’ve seen, which is that he’s hiring eye candy. So it’s not something to be slung around as loosely as it has been, in my view. Some people (Brian Fallon in particular) have been *really fixated* on his clerks, in a rather unseemly way. (And sometimes, though not here, with the implication that he is being untoward with them.)

                                We can say that Chua isn’t right but there is a vague bias, which… there probably usually is. Maybe Kavanaugh has a greater bias than is typical. With that we do avoid any commentary on the people who were hired! But we also have a statement that is considerably watered down from the original accusation (and Chua’s statement).

                                Along those lines… I would be interested to see what the clerks of the others look like. My guess is that you will actually find very few that are overweight at all. Partially as a product of the SES that these people are coming from, and partially because discrimination against the overweight is built in to most hiring practices, and is particularly pronounced

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                                • @WillTruman

                                  Along those lines… I would be interested to see what the clerks of the others look like. My guess is that you will actually find very few that are overweight at all. …discrimination against the overweight is built in to most hiring practices…

                                  Year after year I watch late teenagers walk across the stage at HS graduation and other “award” type events. I pay a lot of attention to the high academic achievers because I like numbers and they’re my daughter’s rivals. Very very few of them are heavy.

                                  I’ve noticed the same on the “cattle call” line when we’re trying to recruit interns. A third of the country is heavy, but that’s no where close to the numbers I see and I’ll talk to scores of people and observe hundreds at these events.

                                  I’m not sure what the relationship is, but I also question whether “discrimination against the overweight” comes even slightly close to explaining this.

                                  My expectation is Chua would look at our interns and claim a vague bias but there’s something more general going on.

                                  Correction: Daughters’, I have lots.

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                                  • Discrimination against the overweight is a tested phenomenon. I suspect it’s worse when you’re comparing people without specifically relevant work experience. Also, when it’s a very competitive environment where you can afford to be picky along every conceivable dimension.

                                    In other words, this is exactly the sort of thing where I would expect it to be most keenly felt.

                                    In other news, Chua is vehemently denying having said what is attributed to her.

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                                    • In other news, Chua is vehemently denying having said what is attributed to her.

                                      In other other news, another intern has come forward and said Chua told him the same thing. Yes, him:

                                      https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/sep/23/amy-chua-denies-telling-female-students-to-be-model-like-for-brett-kavanaugh

                                      But another former law student who was advised by Chua and approached the Guardian after its original story was published on Thursday said his experience was consistent with the allegations presented in the article.

                                      The male student, who asked not to be identified, said that when he approached Chua about his interest in clerking for Kavanaugh, the professor said it was “great”, but then added that Kavanaugh “tends to hire women who are generally attractive and then likes to send them to [supreme court Chief Justice John] Roberts”.

                                      This is…vaguely confusing in how it is phrased, and it appears to be unclear as to whether this is supposed to be Kavanaugh preferring attractive women over men, or whether the student was being told that if he was a woman, he’d have to be attractive, but wasn’t so didn’t have to be.

                                      But, regardless, it looks like this is something Chua was at least telling people. Whether or not it’s actually true or not, who knows.

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                                    • That explains K but not me. CDC say… 20% of 20 year olds are overweight. I’ll keep my eyes open and report on this later this week. I’m doing a serious cattle call thing, my crew will talk to hundreds of engineers and I’ll see a thousand or so more walking around.

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                      • My undergrad alma mater is a super-left school and around 40 or so percent of the undergrads attended private school K-12. The private schoolers seem to have an outsized reputation as the dominant students though. Many of them attended progressive, artsy, hippie (yet still very expensive) private schools.

                        Do you know how “check your privilege” has been all the rage the past few years? Based on what the private school peeps said, I think a lot of private schools do try to instill with great powers come with great responsibility.

                        What I wonder though is if this completely backfires. Maybe students just hear they will be the rulers of the earth and it gets to their heads even at the will meaning schools. Georgetown Prep when Kavanagh attended would be an old-school bastion of privilege.

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                        • I think its like how the Catholic Church found it very easy to mouth platitudes about solidarity with labor, until their own gravedigger employees went on strike.

                          I happen to be reading this Vox article about the MacDonald’s employees striking for protection against harassment, where it notes that the financial precarity of low wage employees makes the #metoo cries particularly sharp.

                          The thing about #metoo and misogyny in general though, is that that women come from all up and down the social ladder and across the ethnic spectrum, and what we are seeing is how pervasive this is, in every corner of society.

                          I would like to imagine that #metoo is what connects the demand for human dignity with the need for financial security, a move away from the rapacious gig economy.

                          But I also like to imagine the proletariat marching in solidarity through the streets singing “One More Day”.

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      • Kavanaugh also dodged a lot of questions when asked about Kozincki’s skeevy behavior when it is obvious that he knew something and had to know something. His answers are the kind of things that anyone should be able to tell are too clever by half but designed to provide plausible deniability.

        It is true that the event happened a long time ago. However what is more revealing is the treatment she side has received. Dr. Ford has received death threats. Judge Kavanaugh had reporters at his house yesterday and received a nice anecdote about his wife making baked goods for them.

        I can’t tell whether right-leaning people don’t know how angry and hopping mad liberals or and/or just don’t care. I’ve mentioned it before but I think the Trump admin as destroyed whatever good will and fair reading that Democrats/liberals were willing to give to social conservatives especially self-proclaimed Christian conservatives.

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        • “I can’t tell whether right-leaning people don’t know how angry and hopping mad liberals or and/or just don’t care.”

          Isn’t anger sort of the default position for both extremes in American politics?


          “I think the Trump admin as destroyed whatever good will and fair reading that Democrats/liberals were willing to give to social conservatives especially self-proclaimed Christian conservatives.”

          I’m not a physicist, but is it possible to destroy Zero? Saul is acting as though something changed in the liberal mind between George W Bush and Trump.

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          • Saul is acting as though something changed in the liberal mind between George W Bush and Trump.

            Well, maybe. But something *definitely* changed in conservatives’ minds between Bush’s election and Trump’s. Culturally, politically and policy-wise. Even if liberals are the same conservatism isn’t.

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            • I don’t know that anything changed in conservative minds on a philosophical level, but team sports being what they are, a lot of people have been dragged farther and farther Right by internal forces that have come into power. I always use my brother as an example there. He doesn’t believe in intelligent Design, but he thinks it’s okay to teach it in public schools because a lot of people do believe in it and his team seems to be hostile towards science in general.

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        • This is the second time you’ve said this, and I asked you about this last time without getting a reply. Beyond simple human decency, why should a political movement care how angry its opposing partisans are? Do you care how angry the right is? If so, how would you have either side react to that concern? Considering that everyone voices anger about everything (especially the way Fox treated Firefly), how could someone effectively measure the anger of the other political side?

          For my part, I’ve been basking in the good will that liberals show to social conservatives for years, and I can tell you it ain’t much.

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          • I’ll be honest. I usually think it is a waste of time responding to you because I don’t think you are going to change your mind. I also don’t think you are arguing in good faith. I find most of your arguments to be a form of whataboutism and disingenuous.

            I think a lot of people who are in the Democratic Party and/or left-leaning are seeing that elites protect their own more than anything else. I don’t know why this should be surprising to people on the right. After all, they came up with the “anywhere” vs. “somewhere” dichotomy to defend Trump voters.

            Lisa Blatt is obviously a very skilled lawyer. That is not in argument. But she is a partner at a high-powered corporate defense firm and if you look at R and D-appointees to the Supreme Court, candidates appointed by R-nominees are much more likely to make decisions favorable to Blatt’s clients. The ones that make her a very wealthy woman.

            There is a big performative dance we like to do in the United States where we pretend that the Supreme Court is not political. It is, it always has been, and always will be. There are lots of decisions that are unanimous and near unanimous but these are often over very boring and arcane fields of law.

            The right-wing is clearly animated by judicial picks. They have been yearning for Roe to be overturned for decades. They learned their lessons from O’Connor, Kennedy, and Souter. Everyone knows the dance. The nominee mumbles some vague things about respecting precedent. Then they make decisions that always substantially curtail Roe even if never officially overturning it. Same with other hot-button social issues.

            Kavanagh is a youngish rock-ribbed conservative. He can be on the court for decades and work to frustrate liberal policy goals and laws even if Democrats take back Congress.

            What does liberal feminist mean in the case of Blatt’s original essay? She does this playing dumb thing regarding abortion which convinced no one on my side.

            She might fully believe she is a liberal feminist. She might never vote Republican but she is a smart woman and knows that Kavanagh is much more likely to rule in favor of her clients than Garland especially when it comes to stuff like preemption to protect them from product liability class actions or binding arbitration to protect them from wage and hour and discrimination suits.
            These decisions are always on R v. D splits or almost always.

            So almost every Democratic and/or left-leaning voter did not buy Blatt’s essay. To us it sounded like “I’m going to call myself a liberal feminist and going to use it as a club to tell Democrats to shut up because Judge Kavanagh on the Court is good for my clients and therefore good for my bank account and career.”

            This seems like a pretty clear argument but I think you refuse to see it because it suits you to refuse to see it ideologically.

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            • I don’t think that many people around here are going to change their minds, at least not right away, but I still try to have conversations with them. I think that most of us are capable of changing our minds somewhere down the road, and I’m hoping to plant seeds, here and there, that might grow into something interesting. It’s pretty rude to call someone disingenuous online, because it’s an impossible charge to rebut. I assume good will on your part – but I have no idea who Blatt is, and the fact that you’re denouncing me for not believing her argument when as near as I can tell it’s never been mentioned on this thread, well, that’s not a bad faith argument, but it does suggest to me that your head space is too far from this thread for me to be able to match.

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            • Saul Degraw: I’ll be honest. I usually think it is a waste of time responding to you because I don’t think you are going to change your mind.

              And you’re the poster-child for objectivity, open-mindedness, and good faith?

              Lisa Blatt is obviously a very skilled lawyer. That is not in argument. But she is a partner at a high-powered corporate defense firm

              “Liberals”/lefties/Democrats don’t like the fact that someone that identifies as a feminist liberal expresses an opinion that goes against their orthodoxy so they decide to become the equivalent of the militant vegan/anti-GMO/keto zealot nutjobs and cook up some bullshit about her being a corporate shill.

              Great idea. Fight the batshit stupidity on the right with even bigger batshit stupidity of your own. Not that the people that talk about being angry know how to fight their way out of paper bags but they do stupid very well. Kudos.

              If you think what Blatt did was akin to swinging a bat telling your team to shut the fuck up, then you don’t want me to swing mine. I’m tired hearing how pissed your team is when it’s evident that it’s incapable of doing something about it, especially against a team that’s been fighting for decades.

              By the way, I self-identify as liberal these days and anyone’s opinion about that is meaningless to me.

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        • “Dr. Ford has received death threats. Judge Kavanaugh had reporters at his house yesterday and received a nice anecdote about his wife making baked goods for them.”

          TBF: Kavanaugh and his wife have been getting death threats too. Hell, I’ve gotten death threats over blogging. There seems to be an extremely low threshold for that.

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      • I don’t know about that. I remember in high school hearing several wretched folks bragging about plainly criminal acts they committed – specifically assaults, sexual and otherwise – as though they were something to be proud of, or just recounting such acts they witnessed as amusing anecdotes that underline just what a great, wild party they were at on the weekend.

        I have no trouble believing that Kavanaugh or the third boy who was present did just that, even though Ford might not have told anyone.

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              • No, she hasn’t ‘retracted’.

                She is standing by the facts she presented, in that she heard rumors about Kavanaugh and Judge attacking Ford, and that everyone was talking about it.

                Her ‘retraction’ is merely her admitting that saying ‘it did happen’ was a bit premature if everyone is expecting her to have some evidence. As she said in the rest of her post, she has no actual evidence or even first-hand knowledge.

                I.e., her claim is still entirely in effect. She stands by what she said she heard.

                She’s just admitting that her claim does not actually prove it happened.

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                • She retracted the verdict certainty about what happened and equivocated it from something most people heard about to vaguely “she remembers that there was a ‘buzz’ that went around possibly on a weekend about the party where an alleged incident involving students from her school and Kavanaugh’s took place” and declared she didn’t want to talk about it further to anyone nor help Ford in any other way.

                  That’s what somebody is doing when they’re backtracking.

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                  • The problem is that Ford said she never told anybody, so how would such a rumor have circulated? There probably was a buzz that circulated, but based on what’s coming out of the two prep schools, the buzz was probably unplanned pregnancy Wednesday, passed-out-pooper Thursday, ER stomach-pump Friday, DUI Saturday, Sunday brawl, or drunken orgy Monday.

                    Given the girl’s school yearbook, Ford’s attack was probably completely unremarkable even for that particular party. The whole place sounds like Animal House.

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                    • There were, Dr. Blasey says, two other people in the room. Perhaps Judge or Kavanaugh told others before he/they blacked out that night and forgot everything.

                      And I want to point out that Dr. Blasey was, in that moment, facing a potential gang rape by two men, not just a rape. There were, she says, two drunk men in the room, willfully participating in attacking her.

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                      • We’re talking about a rumor which was apparently just now created by one of Ford’s supporters. She “knows” Ford is right, ergo the rumor “must” have existed (thus we have a rumor about a rumor). When pushed for details on this, i.e. facts, she doesn’t have any and never did.

                        The thing about Twitter is we get to see who said what, and who was the first person to say what, so it has an unusual level of accountability. In a more typical whisper mill she would have just air brushed a 35 year old rumor into the picture and retroactively created support for Ford that would be impossible to address.

                        …Which makes me think we should see the entirety of that counselor’s report, and not just one cherry picked page. We could see at what point the four attackers became two attackers in this narrative. Was the councilor wrong or did the story simply change? Similarly, at what point did her attacker get a name, are there other details that have been changed in the last six years, or are there are details in there that could be turned into facts?

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                    • Given the girl’s school yearbook, Ford’s attack was probably completely unremarkable even for that particular party.

                      Is that the justification now? That we should put someone on the Supreme Court who tried to assault someone because _everyone_ in his social circle was doing it?

                      And, I’m sure that’s not the intent, but…let’s pretend it was for a second.

                      This is going to sound weird, but am I the only person who thinks that’s literally negative justification? If we (for some reason!) _have_ to put someone who tried to rape someone, on the Supreme Court I’d honestly rather have a judge that had been taught properly and knew it was wrong, and had tried a rape a woman once anyway, than someone who was brought up without any respect for women whatsoever and thought men forcing themselves on women was _normal_.

                      The first guy might actually be repentant or have had some sort of anger issues at the time or be egged on by others, whereas the second is…someone who does not really think women are human beings. The first situation is fixable, I’m not entirely sure the second one is.

                      It is, perhaps, valid as a justification, or at least explanation, of people’s behavior that ‘They don’t know any better and grew up in a universe where that was acceptable’. But…that excuse implies they have some sort of…deeply programmed mental incorrectness.

                      Which is automatically a disqualification to the job we’re considering him for. Sure, you can use it to explain your misogynistic uncle, and we’ll nod and just ignore them, but _your misogynistic uncle doesn’t belong on the Supreme Court_.

                      Hell, I think I’d rather have a man on the court who knew forcing themselves on women was wrong and yet tried once vs. a man who thought it was completely normal because women didn’t really count as people, but who _hadn’t ever_ tried it. Seriously.

                      …of course, in the actual real world, we should probably have _none_ of those people on the court.

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    • Based on my experience in high school, if there was something grave that was being talked about, and if it were what Ford alleges, then there’s no way almost everyone wouldn’t have known about it, including Kavanaugh’s two girlfriends.

      Uh, you do know there are multiple high schools involved in this, right?

      Kavanaugh went to an all boy’s high school, and thus, by definition, neither his girlfriends nor Ford nor the woman claiming everyone knew would have gone to his high school.

      Nor does it seem likely that his girlfriends would have gone to the same school as Ford.

      Nor has she said she made it up. What she said was she was hasty saying ‘It did happen’. She hasn’t recanted _hearing about it_, just backed down from saying it actually ‘did happen’, admitting she has no actual facts in that regard, and just remembers hearding a rumor.

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        • When I was 16, I got in a bad wreck when I hit a small bucket loader*. My car was totaled and the officer on the scene told me to get anything I needed out of the car, so I unloaded my mechanics toolbox into my dad’s car when he came to pick me up.

          The rumor mill at school decided I was unloading a considerable amount of drugs (right under the nose of the police, the stones I had when I was 16!).

          High school rumor mills are about as reliable a source of information as an Alex Jones podcast.

          *Bucket loader was sitting in the middle of the road, in a thick fog bank, without any flagmen. Cop testified on my behalf to a judge that I could not have possibly avoided hitting the skid loader (and killing the man in it), since the people running the show had failed to take the proper precautions to warn traffic on a rural highway.

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          • Uh, guys, you do realize there’s a difference between rumors that someone denies, and rumors that _confirm what someone said_, right?

            We shouldn’t believe rumors that are just rumors. We should perhaps believe something someone said about themselves when it’s _backed up_ by contemporary rumors.

            What’s your theory here, that Ford is basing her claims of assault off of rumors about her? Like, someone falsely spread rumors that she was attacked, so she just went with it?

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    • Based on my experience in high school, if there was something grave that was being talked about, and if it were what Ford alleges, then there’s no way almost everyone wouldn’t have known about it, including Kavanaugh’s two girlfriends.

      You know a lot has changed since the 1940’s right?

      Probably best not to appeal to your own authority or claim you think you know how people think or act. I certainly don’t find that credible.

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  4. I think about all of this stuff pretty regularly because our digital trails are so diverse now. At the same time, this isn’t necessarily a new phenomenon. I was a prolific letter writer before email and I shudder to think about the embarrassing notes that ex girlfriends might have held on to.

    I know this point has been made many times here but if Kavanaugh really did this, he joins a long list of powerful figures who were such egotists that they seriously thought they could go through something like this and it not come out, or they simply believed they couldn’t be touched (our president comes to mind there). It’s sort of amazing to watch. Not that I am inclined, but for example, I would probably never run for a serious office simply because of my online writing. My opinions on a variety of topics has evolved but my old views still remain, you get tuned up in the comment sections and take positions you don’t really believe in, etc. Too much of a footprint. And that stuff is incredibly mild compared to the behavior that politicians/coaches/celebrities seem to think no one will find out about.

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    • My opinions on a variety of topics has evolved but my old views still remain, you get tuned up in the comment sections and take positions you don’t really believe in, etc. Too much of a footprint.

      Whenever I come out to a friend or relative and tell them about my blogging, I try really hard to say, “if you look into the history of my comments, you’ll find me saying things that I don’t believe anymore and sometimes never believed. You’ll also find me occasionally losing my temper or saying things that are incredibly rude.” (Most of the time, they probably could care less about what my blog posts or comments, and they’ll read just one or two posts as a favor to me and not because they really have an itch to. So in my case, my reputation is usually secure.)

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    • I remain pretty confident Kavanaugh will be confirmed. That hasn’t changed even as how I feel about it has shifted here and there.

      Neither Chua nor her husband seem to be claiming inside knowledge of Kavanaugh’s hiring practices or conduct towards staffers. They just noticed a pattern. And such coaching is kind of her bread and butter.

      No accusations of improper conduct have been made, and Chua felt comfortable with her own daughter clerking for him. And this talk doesn’t just reflect negatively on Kavanaugh but also on the clerks he’s hired, so I’m not presently big on this avenue of inquiry.

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      • I agree that he will probably be confirmed because the GOP really wants that 5-4 lock and are hellbent on this.

        This is the kind of stuff that has been pissing off liberals a lot though and is a nail in the coffin for people like Chua and Blatt. Their justification also sounds like plausible denialbility. Maybe it just exposes different world views. Is this acceptable coaching or unacceptable standards?

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        • I expect they’d be getting their 5-4 majority with or without Kavanaugh. If he had withdrawn, they’d likely have pivoted to a recently-reviewed judge (Barrett, Willet, or Thapar) or fast-tracked a recently vetted one (Hardiman or Kethledge).

          Kavanaugh in particular gets through because:
          1) He was nominated by Trump, who isn’t going to back down over a sexual misconduct charge taking withdrawal off the table short of the prospect of being voted down,
          2) Senate Republicans not having faith in Trump’s cooperation with a quick replacement if they did vote him down,
          3) They were able to put together a case against the case against him, and Dr Ford has declined to testify.

          I don’t think any of these elements were decisive, but they all contributed.

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        • I agree, but keep in mind that Franken didn’t hit anyone.

          I don’t particularly care for Kavanaugh, but a lot of this smacks of tribalism. If Kavanaugh is unfit because of an allegation (that is going to damn hard to substantiate regardless of how much we want to believe Dr. Ford) from 30 years ago, Ellison should have been shown the door already.

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          • My personal take is that what we have here is definitely not enough for prison, nowhere near enough for disbarment, I don’t think near enough for impeachment, but maybe enough to prevent him from getting a promotion to the one of the most coveted jobs in the country.

            (If I were a senator I am not sure how I would vote. Still trying to figure it out.)

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            • Again, I agree (I think the GOP should cut the line and get an alternate up there post haste).

              But I enjoy consistency. If Ford’s allegations are enough to halt Kavanaugh, then someone like Ellison should not be allowed to run for an AG seat under a ‘D’ ticket (if he wants to take his chances as an independent, he can, but the DNC should pull their support).

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              • If I can speak for all Dems (and I will) I think the mood within the tribe right now is such that a credible accusation against Ellison will stop his forward movement.

                Like Franken, he will have his defenders, but I just don’t see the fury and indignation from Dems over sexual harassment as a partisan tool to be discarded the moment it becomes inconvenient.

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              • I think it’s been pretty clear at least a couple of days that this woman is completely full of shit, at least as it relates to Kavanaugh.

                The nail in the coffin was is the actions of this woman’s lawyer. It’s a completely reasonable thing for a woman in Mrs Ford’s position to lawyer up. It’s completely specious to complain about being “at the same table” as Kavanaugh when it’s obvious that they wouldn’t be testifying at the same time. And if there was any real concern about that point, it could easily be handled by one call to Chuck Grassley’s office.

                Those are not the actions of somebody who has a legit story to tell. Those are the actions of somebody who wants other people to credit her for having a legit story and then have the matter buried.

                This was before the Whelan tweets. Now, I expect Kavanaugh to be confirmed with some Democratic votes, say at least 2.

                What about the Whelan tweets, should he have actually named that Garrett guy? I don’t know. I want to say no, but given as how some people are still giving some credibility to Mrs Ford, it’s hard to criticize.

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                • There is still room for her to have a legit story… but… Feinstein’s actions make more sense if she doubts it.

                  Now, I can’t say everything’s truthful. I don’t know“. – Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.
                  —————–

                  Something else that stands out with a little digging is… Ford claimed her grades were depressed in HS after her attack and she didn’t recover until college. I’m fine with her being currently high functioning (and she clearly is). I’ve known people who were an “C” student in highschool, a “B” in college and an “A” in grad school.

                  All that sounds reasonable.

                  Ford’s bachelor degree is from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Their students generate far more than it’s share of Noble prizes, Fortune 500 founders and so forth. They’re the 33rd best school in the world by certain sources. The average student currently(*) enters with a GPA of 4.66. That’s eyewateringly high for an average. It implies they never accept students who aren’t proven to be high functioning. You can get all A’s and still have less than a 4.66.

                  78% of their accepted students were in the top 10% of their class, which basically means everyone except for the obvious exceptions (AA, Athletes, other types of gifted, etc). That her grades were depressed in HS and she still got into NCCH seems weird.

                  (*) I couldn’t find what their student body entrance stats were in the 80’s.

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                  • There is still room for her to have a legit story… but… Feinstein’s actions make more sense if she doubts it.

                    “Now, I can’t say everything’s truthful. I don’t know“. – Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

                    Yeah, that’s definitely part of the picture.

                    The main reason why Mrs Ford isn’t credible is because there’s nothing narratively to connect to Brett Kavanaugh. I mean we have a house party in Montgomery County, hear a country club, a stairwell and a bed. That’s it. How did Brett Kavanaugh get in this picture?

                    It’s completely credible that a victim of a situation like this wouldn’t remember everything, but it’s not credible that she remembers nothing. Because if she really doesn’t remember anything, why does she blame Brett Kavanaugh?

                    It’s because mean Mr. Grassley is bullying her. ~eyeroll~ Yeah right.

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                    • The main reason why Mrs Ford isn’t credible is because there’s nothing narratively to connect to Brett Kavanaugh. I mean we have a house party in Montgomery County, hear a country club, a stairwell and a bed. That’s it. How did Brett Kavanaugh get in this picture?

                      He…walked into the party?

                      What are you even talking about? You want an attempted rape at a party to have a _plot_?

                      It’s completely credible that a victim of a situation like this wouldn’t remember everything, but it’s not credible that she remembers nothing. Because if she really doesn’t remember anything, why does she blame Brett Kavanaugh?

                      Yeah! And how did we even get Brett Kavanaugh’s name at all from this?! Ford just wrote a letter explaining that something happened at some point in the past to here, and everyone just _decided_ she meant Kavanaugh and Judge assaulted her at the party! But she doesn’t remember anything of the sort. She doesn’t remember anything! For all we know she got lost at Six Flags when she was four!

                      *holds hand to earpiece*

                      Oh, wait. She apparently _does_ remember who attacked her, while forgetting the sort of details that someone who doesn’t want to relive the event would forget, like the exact date or location.

                      You know, Koz, it is perfectly reasonable to assert she’s lying. What is a bit absurd is to pretend it’s crazy someone remembers _actually important_ facts like ‘Who did it.’ (If only so she could, duh, avoid them.), while forgetting details like ‘What house it was?’ or ‘The date’.

                      I couldn’t tell you the date of _any_ bad things that happened to me. Not a single one. Heck, one happened on the day before Thanksgiving, but I don’t know the year offhand. And I couldn’t tell you the location of a few of them. (The ones I can tell you were at locations I know very well.) And _none_ of these events are as far back as what happened to her.

                      I can describe quite a few _details_ of those bad things, though, and I sure as hell know who the person _causing_ the bad things was.

                      There are reasonable things to say in complaint about her story, like ‘This low level of details means the story can’t be falsified’. And then there are unreasonable things like ‘Why didn’t she remember more details of this horrible event she didn’t want to remember? That in itself disproves the claims!’

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                      • He…walked into the party?

                        What are you even talking about? You want an attempted rape at a party to have a _plot_?

                        Absolutely. It’s a drama, dramas have plots.

                        In particular, I’m saying there is nothing about the supposed existence of this party that has been substantiated, either by Ford or anyone else.

                        According to what Ford or her proxies have told us so far, she doesn’t know to the year when this incident occurred (a horrible strike against her credibility by itself really), she doesn’t know where it occurred. Kavanaugh, Mark Judge, and PJ Smyth are all on record saying this party as described by Ford never happened. That’s who, where, and when that her story is in question, there never was a credible explanation for why.

                        From what we have learned so far, there is no reason to think there this party existed and there’s no reason to think Kavanaugh is relevant. And we should know more by now.

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                      • Yeah! And how did we even get Brett Kavanaugh’s name at all from this?! Ford just wrote a letter explaining that something happened at some point in the past to here, and everyone just _decided_ she meant Kavanaugh and Judge assaulted her at the party!

                        Yeah, that is kinda weird now isn’t it. Kavanaugh was there because his girlfriend was on the swim team with that other girl, who was tight with Ford since they were in Spanish together in the second grade. Or maybe it was Judge’s girlfriend who was on the swim team but Ford was a third wheel because the Spanish friend who was supposed to be there wasn’t. But no, it’s been crickets all week.

                        There is simply no possible way that could happen if this incident really happened like she said. The whole point of high school is stories like that.

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                      • There are reasonable things to say in complaint about her story, like ‘This low level of details means the story can’t be falsified’. And then there are unreasonable things like ‘Why didn’t she remember more details of this horrible event she didn’t want to remember? That in itself disproves the claims!’

                        Those are basically the same thing in this context.

                        Let’s remember, at Sunday night it wasn’t expected to play out this way. I expected this to be some kind of overwrought bullshit (it kinda is, still) and we’d be arguing about that. But contrary to expectations (and even preferences) of both the Right and it didn’t play out that way.

                        There was no “boys will be boys”, exaggeration, any kind of explanation along those lines. Instead we got a categorical denial, “That just didn’t happen.” Then we also got corroborating denials from PJ Smyth and Mark Judge.

                        There hasn’t been anything offered by anybody to contradict those denials. They are more credible now than they were when they surfaced.

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                    • The main reason why Mrs Ford isn’t credible is because there’s nothing narratively to connect to Brett Kavanaugh.

                      I thought the narrative connection was the part where she said that it was Brett Kavanaugh who attacked her. Or is this one of those lit-crit things where “narrative” means something different?

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                      • I thought the narrative connection was the part where she said that it was Brett Kavanaugh who attacked her. Or is this one of those lit-crit things where “narrative” means something different?

                        Yeah, how did Kavanaugh and Ford end up at the same house party? Inquiring minds want to know!

                        (A party that three anti-witnesses have said didn’t exist and no has been able to say anything to the contrary.)

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                        • It is crazy that two people who lived near each other, were roughly the same age, and had many friends in common would wind up at the same party. It’s like “How could you, a staggeringly ordinary person, possibly meet the famous movie star Robin Wright? I frankly don’t find that ‘We had kids at the same school and it was back-to-school night’ garbage plausible.”

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                          • It is crazy that two people who lived near each other, were roughly the same age, and had many friends in common would wind up at the same party.

                            Well yeah, that’s exactly what I expected when Ford’s name first surfaced last weekend, and that’s exactly what hasn’t materialized.

                            To use a geek work, there’s no nexus of connection between Kavanaugh and Ford. In fact, since then I’ve though of various episodes from my own high school. Thinking of one in particular where I can say in a weird way it did affect me very deeply, and I can even say it affected me for some years after. But for me and this other person, it’s very obvious what the nexus of connection was between us, in fact I can describe it very clearly now decades later.

                            There’s just no way that nobody can say anything meaningful about the circumstances of that event just completely defies credibility. The facts creating our social agendas and social situation are absolutely fundamental to high school. There’s simply no way that all of it can be forgotten.

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                • What about the Whelan tweets, should he have actually named that Garrett guy? I don’t know. I want to say no, but given as how some people are still giving some credibility to Mrs Ford, it’s hard to criticize.

                  I’ve actually changed my mind a bit since I wrote this comment. Obviously most of the commentary about this has been critical of Whelan. And after reading some of it, I’ve concluded that the conventional wisdom was right, and I was wrong.

                  Specifically, my understanding of libel law is such that you can legally suggest that someone is guilty of a crime or something otherwise disreputable as long as you reasonably clear about what you are claiming versus what you are disclaiming.

                  I assumed that Whelan was more careful than he was. But when I reread the tweetchain, his critics are right. He may or may not lose a libel suit, but if this guy Garrett wants to sue him for real, he’s in for a good fight.

                  It’s really a shame because the strength of the argument doesn’t depend on naming the guy. In fact it’s probably stronger if he doesn’t. In any case, very irresponsible on Whelan’s part.

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                  • It’s really a shame because the strength of the argument doesn’t depend on naming the guy. In fact it’s probably stronger if he doesn’t. In any case, very irresponsible on Whelan’s part.

                    I wonder if your opinion there has changed based on the fact that Ford has pointed out she actually _knew_ both Kavanaugh and Garrett, and could not have possibly mistaken the two? Just because two crappy yearbook photos scans look vaguely alike does not mean people actually confused the two in real life.

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                    • I wonder if your opinion there has changed based on the fact that Ford has pointed out she actually _knew_ both Kavanaugh and Garrett, and could not have possibly mistaken the two?

                      No. Whelan’s argument doesn’t depend on us knowing who the doppelganger is, in fact it’s just as well or better if we don’t. Or for that matter, if it’s not narrowed down to one person even. Whelan was wrong to publish that tweetchain but basically the same thing that’s bugging him is bugging me. Kavanaugh just pops out of nowhere to be the bad guy of this story, in a politically convenient situation when there’s no reason for him to be there.

                      Whelan’s problem is that there was an implied arguendo stipulation that Ford was somehow substantively right, and trying to make sense of that. The reality is that’s a mistake. It’s going to be difficult for Kavanaugh or a close surrogate to argue that Ford is lying, but lying she is. That’s why the whole story is vague and not falsifiable.

                      See here.

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    • There is also this story from today which will might not be the final nail in the coffin for Kavanagh because tribalism and Roe …

      A third party made an observation about observation Kavanaugh’s clerks and that’s supposed to be evidence of something improper about Kavanaugh?

      The Ford allegation is the thing. Everything else I’ve seen thrown at Kavanaugh smells of desperation and that includes that weird line of questioning by Kamala Harris about conversations that may or may not have taken place with people who may or may not exist.

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  5. Aside from a few email accounts with ISPs (that I no longer have records of and were small ISPs who probably didn’t hold onto things for too long, assuming they are still around), my digital trail would start right around 1997, but wouldn’t be consistent until 2004 (when I got a Gmail beta invite and started using it as my primary email).

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  6. About 20 years ago, Illinois organized a commission to find out why so many death row convicts were being released. One of their major points involved the unreliability of eyewitness testimony (more reliable is physical evidence or circumstantial evidence). Your memory is like a game of telephone, the more frequently a memory is recalled, the more details are stripped or modified through reinterpretation. The commission recommended not allowing the death penalty based upon a single eyewitness and expanding use of expert testimony on the fallibility of memory, among other things that eventually pointed towards abolition of the death penalty.

    This line of thinking can seem pretty nihilistic since we think of memories as part of our identity, but they are tools that serve a purpose and we should probably be more modest in evaluating them.

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      • Thanks, a longer version of my comment would have mentioned that there were also resulting changes on technical issues, like requirements for videotaping confessions and giving Defendants a right to conduct DNA analysis, also intended to get around the memory problem. The flipside of all of this are increasing CSI effects that assume capabilities that don’t exist. And I’m concerned that the worst actors know where the lines between technology and the wild west exist before the public.

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  7. I think there’s an important caveat missing here. The existence of records makes researching easier and possible in some situations where it wouldn’t otherwise be. What they don’t (always) do is give any indicia of reliability. Having dug through numerous emails and correspondence during discovery I can say that it isn’t always so straightforward.

    This is a lot like the push for body cams. I think it’s on balance better that they’re there from an evidentiary standpoint but I don’t think emails and texts and social media posts in themselves will make these types of he said she said situations easier to resolve. That’s without getting into the ease of manipulating the record.

    Everyone constantly walking around with mini-geolocation devices pinging towers owned by third parties on the other hand might prove more conclusive as evidence.

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    • Well, we sort of have a field test with the Title IX stuff that almost entirely involves stuff that’s out there digitally. From that we know that it doesn’t necessarily resolve what happened in the bedroom, but very few of these these involve denials that the parties were there. Which, I think if not for digital trails, more of them probably would (as many do involve quick-come-overs as opposed to the conclusion of established dates).

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      • It would be interesting to go back and see if digital records has had a measurable change in how the accused respond to allegations.

        Still I think the Title IX stuff shows the limits. As best I can tell the activist position is that recorded statements or online conduct (or conduct of any kind really) can be easily explained away by vague references trauma, no matter how much it seems to undermine an accusation or defy logic. People also have a tendency to give accounts of things in ways that don’t add up for numerous reasons from their own interests to pure lack of intelligence/laziness to just saying what they think someone wants to hear. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read salesmen recounting my own legal advice to me in a way that is directly contradictory to what I’ve told them multiple times, in writing, and which other people in the audience have clearly understood.

        My point isn’t that the records are useless just that their existence in itself only goes so far. There are all kinds of reasons they could be inaccurate or inadequate so you need to be able to explain why a given record is credible. Even then some people are willing to reject them for ideological reasons.

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    • I think this is true, based on the way Ed Whelan just accused some random HS classmate of Kavenaugh’s of being the guy who actually attacked Ford, based on Zillow floor plans and old yearbook photos.

      More records is gonna mean even more grist for rationalization, confirmation bias, and general straw-grasping every bit as much as it is going to mean more useful data.

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      • I figured Ed Whelan was about to blow Ford’s story out of the water. He’s probably been on the phone with the guy who did it and the other guys who were there. The charge isn’t one that merits any real attention, so they’d have no reason not to come forward and brag about it.

        Of course Ford is already demanding that she’ll only testify if no lawyers are present (does she know that pretty much everybody in the Senate is a lawyer?). It must be great to have a legal system where you can hurl accusations without having to be cross-examined, face a defense attorney, or any of the other niceties that separate the Anglo/American legal system from that of Nazi Germany, or, for that matter, the non-legal system of lynchings where every white woman was believed and every accused rapist was strung up without benefit of defense, rules of evidence, innocent until proven guilty, Brady materials, or anything of the sort.

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      • Precisely. And, at risk of doing what I always do on this subject (i.e. sounding like an unsympathetic asshole), it really makes the case even stronger for victims of these types of crimes to immediately go to the legitimate authorities. Not a professor, not a friend, not 6 months or 6 years later, but right away and to people who have the investigative tools to do something about it while the trail is fresh.

        When you can put the accused and the accuser in the same place at the same time, absent some particularly unusual credibility issues, there’s usually a conviction or a plea. I know because I used to work at a firm that did defense work. On the other hand, you allow for months or years of contradictory statements and weird narratives to build up and you’ve made it impossible to know what really happened plus opened the door for the bizarro world Whelan-type stuff. Redditers and the twitterati, high in self regard as they are, are not capable of solving cases and even professionals can be plenty inept once it goes into the information deluge.

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        • And, at risk of doing what I always do on this subject (i.e. sounding like an unsympathetic asshole), it really makes the case even stronger for victims of these types of crimes to immediately go to the legitimate authorities.

          Yeah, well, on the other hand (CW: graphic descriptions of sexual assault and generally gut wrenching) a young woman in a not-entirely-dissimilar situation did just that in Texas, and as Liz Bruenig documents, it did not go well for her.

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          • That response is asinine and I know you’re better than this. I’m pretty all in on police reform and I think you know that. That includes the way victims/complainants are treated. I know from personal experience that the police are quite capable of handling these things very poorly and even creating separate travesties.

            And yet we also convict tens of thousands of people a year for sex crimes. In fact we’re so good at it that a notable number of them are exonerated down the road by DNA evidence, recanting witnesses, and discovery of other types of law enforcement misconduct or incompetence.

            The answer is to reform law enforcement, especially at the state and local levels, which is hard, grueling work, where no one gets some big happy day of glorious vindication. It is not trying to set up parallel systems composed of even less competent and more ideological actors or to turn every case into a tribal/social litmus test.

            I know it’s easier to jump from outrage to outrage but we have to he capable of holding multiple ideas in our heads, even if there can be a bit of tension between them.

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            • Re-reading this I think I was overly zealous and reactive an I apologize for that. What I really should have said is that the system can fail different people in different ways. It doesn’t follow though that it gets it wrong all the time, that it’s so terrible people should avoid it altogether in all circumstances, or (and this is the most important part) that the realistic alternatives on the table are superior. They aren’t.

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            • The problem here (and I saw your followup but I still want to clarify what I’m getting it) is that, as we don’t have reliably legitimate law enforcement, it’s not realistic to expect victims of sexual assault to behave as if we do, and in the absence of such institutions we’re going to have to fall second-, third-, and fourth-best options.

              Even if someone waved a magic wand and fixed everything tomorrow, we’d still have a hangover from decades of bad institutions like the ones that failed Amber Wyatt in Texas twelve years ago.

              Victims are going to make legitimate choices not to contact law enforcement at the time, and also make legitimate choices to come forward years later. I’m not saying every allegation will be true (which would be foolish) or that we should ignore the possibility that they might be false, but the problem is one that’s decades, if not centuries in the making.

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              • It’s one thing to make a choice not to contact law enforcement. That’s a personal decision and, while I still think the best thing to do is at least register it with the authorities, it is something the individual needs to decide. However, it is not a consequence free decision. Once that choice is made, it is legitimate to ask about the choice if the accuser decides to raise it down the road. This is especially so when so much time has passed that investigation isn’t possible.

                Re: the historical issue, all I can say is you have to start somewhere. Every allegation comes out of its own facts and circumstances and needs to be assessed on the merits. Any other approach is irrational. If the idea is to get rid of the just-so stories and stereotypes that prevent credible accusations from being investigated I don’t see how replacing them with another set of just-so stories and stereotypes (or processes that rely on them) helps. It might even do harm if the result is to overstate the problems in the current system so much that people it can help stop using it.

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                • It’s legitimate to ask about the delay, it’s just that that specific question has a painfully easy easy answer.

                  As for consequences, yes, there are definitely consequences. In the instant case, it’s extremely difficult to imagine that any criminal or even civil liability will fall out on Kavanaugh, and a lot of that is because it would be very difficult to meet the standard of evidence involved. These are consequences, and ones that there is very little room to change.

                  But it’s a lot less clear to me that other, less formal, less legal consequences for Kavanaugh are inappropriate. And that includes him not getting a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court, depending on how the testimony next week shakes out.

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              • it’s not realistic to expect victims of sexual assault to behave as if we do, and in the absence of such institutions we’re going to have to fall second-, third-, and fourth-best options.

                Unfortunately Ford didn’t even go for the fourth-best option (like writing down basic facts so we can narrow down the house/year/people). Thus the question is whether treating Ford’s claims seriously is a better option than not treating them seriously.

                The arguments for treating it seriously come down to…

                1) Group justice. We’ll make an example of K even without evidence. People like him did things like that and that’s enough. Her story is our story.

                2) Self interested politics (he’s a conservative and ergo a monster, Trump, Garland).

                3) Emotion, i.e. “gut checks” which will follow self interested politics.

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                • The argument against “making an example of him” would be more convincing if it wasn’t also being deployed against subpoenaing Mark Judge and Ed Whelan, or even waiting an additional day to hear Ford’s testimony.

                  And when you get right down to it, there are other arguments to take her claim seriously, like the relative implausibility of her lying.

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                  • There’s also Ed Whelan (almost certainly in coordination with Kavanaugh) spending two days trying to float “It wasn’t Kavanaugh, it was his evil twin”.

                    Which is…well, let’s just say that does not seem to be the go-to move to defend someone you think is innocent.

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                  • And when you get right down to it, there are other arguments to take her claim seriously, like the relative implausibility of her lying.

                    Implausible… why?

                    We have spent the last several months watching liberal activists hysterically make stuff up about Kavanaugh to derail the nomination. Ford is a self described liberal activist.

                    She’s also a very high functioning Psychologist, which could reasonably include sme on how to spot false accusations.

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                      • High costs of lying (or for that matter making a truthful accusation) and low and diffuse benefits of same.

                        Her fellow liberal activists will turn on her if she successfully prevents K from having a seat, and maybe even prevents a Trump pick?

                        With the fate of the Supreme Court at stake, do you really think anyone on team Blue will care if she gets caught (after the fact) lying? Given how impossible her claims are to disprove, it’s extremely unlikely the worst case (i.e. she’s proven a liar) would be… but she’d be forgiven and even celebrated.

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                        • No, but it invites a wave of real harassment and opprobrium.

                          Pretty reliably. And there’s strong evidence of that in this case, including the fact that the WH appears to have started an (incredibly inept) oppo hit on her before her nme was even known to the public.

                          I think people overestimate the value of attaboys from “liberal activists”.

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                          • No, but it invites a wave of real harassment and opprobrium.

                            You mean as opposed to letting the Supreme Court dismantle Roe (which imho will kill people) and bless the installation of Trump as a dictator (which I don’t believe but they do)?

                            The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.

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                    • Implausible… why?

                      Have you actually looked into her life history, read the story of her life? She literally moved halfway across the country as soon as she could, and then spent a career, uh, documenting how people can deal with trauma and PTSD.

                      It is entirely possible this is some insane long con, that years ago she decided to position herself as the assault victim of _someone_ important.

                      But hey, those things don’t prove anything. People can do that without being a survivor of assault.

                      But she _did_ start explicitly telling people about the assault (If not who did it) more than six years ago. So maybe she’s only been running the con for six years, and just recently decided on Kavanaugh when he got on the short list to the Supreme Court.

                      Wait…the short list? That’s right, she did put forward his name before he was nominated, so that was a rather risky move. If he’d not been the chosen she would have just wasted all the time building up to a pointless accusation.

                      It’s a hell of a lot of luck that not only did that happen, but one of the people on the short list to the Supreme Court just _happened_ to match up with the assault allegations she’s made up six years previously, about someone from a nearby elite school attacking her in high school. Wow! What are the odds?!

                      No, seriously, what are the odds? How exactly are people thinking this worked?

                      Seriously, people seem to think that Ford existed in some sort of formless void, whereas if you actually look at her history she _very clearly_ was either the victim of some sort of sexual assault when a teenager, or has been running a con posing as a secret victim of assault since she was a teenager. (And I have to suggest that that would be a really dumb thing to start in the 80s.)

                      Here is, honestly, the _only possible_ way her lying lie makes sense:

                      Ford actually was assaulted in high school at some point, in some random manner, which then resulted in her career of dealing with the fallout of such things. Somewhere around 2010, as a liberal activist, realized the recently appointed DC circuit judge was someone she knew. So did some researched or just remember him and Judge getting utterly drunk all the time, and she fabricated an assault by someone ‘from a nearby elite school’ she could turn into Kavanaugh if the need arose. And then it did.

                      That’s basically what people who think she is lying have to assert she did. If this is a lie, it’s a really complicated and long-term one.

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                      • But she _did_ start explicitly telling people about the assault (If not who did it) more than six years ago.

                        The written record (which she picked to prove she told someone) has 4 attackers, not 2. It also has no names. And no, we’re not allowed to see the full written record to see if the story has changed in other ways.

                        That’s right, she did put forward his name before he was nominated

                        Translation: She says she told her husband the name and he agrees. Spousal privilege applies, and spouses lie to/for each other all the time.

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                        • The written record (which she picked to prove she told someone) has 4 attackers, not 2. It also has no names.

                          Her story does, in fact, have 4 people in it. Only two of them are attackers.

                          You realize as an objection this makes very little sense, right? If she’d been planning a lie, she surely would have explained it consistently. But instead she didn’t go into details with her therapist, so her therapist notes are incorrect.

                          Translation: She says she told her husband the name and he agrees. Spousal privilege applies, and spouses lie to/for each other all the time.

                          No, she contacted _the Washington Post_ before the nomination. This was when Kavanaugh was just on the shortlist, on July 6th. She also says she reached out to a ‘local government representative’ at that time, we’ll see who that was at her testimony.

                          He wasn’t nominated until the 9th.

                          And, fundamentally, none of that address my point. People who think she is lying are postulating a lie prepared years in advance, either directly aimed at Kavanaugh (Which was aimed very poorly because she should have said his name at first, loudly and repeatedly, at least in places with doctor-patient confidentially where she could be sure it wouldn’t get out until she wanted it.), or an undirected lie where she was just sorta hoping that _someone_ important, who fit the descriptions she’d given so far, would come along she could aim her lie at them.

                          Which of those do _you_ think it is? The first is an absurdly stupid way to do it, the second is also absurdly stupid.

                          And neither of them is how people lie about sexual assault. False sexual assault claims are almost always immediate, or at least have an immediate _trigger_ even if they allege stuff in the past. No one runs around leaving vague hints for years. Even if she were willing to wait for years fo the outcome, she’d have targetted him from the start!

                          In fact, planning like that is that not how anyone lies about anything. People don’t prepare just-in-case lies just in case they want to hit some random person with an allegation years later. At least, not against a person they barely knew decades ago.

                          I think this is why the nonsense ‘home foreclosure revenge on the son of the judge’ theory showed up for a bit, because the lie was much too weird to justify otherwise.

                          But, seriously, which do _you_ think it was? She just decided to lie to the therapist years ago _why_ exactly? Did she have specific members of an ‘an elitist boys school’ who became ‘high-ranking members of society’ in mind _at the time_, or was she just leaving that open-ended until recently?

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                          • If she’d been planning a lie, she surely would have explained it consistently. But instead she didn’t go into details with her therapist, so her therapist notes are incorrect.

                            And can we see these notes? Is that the only point where her story has shifted?

                            If the answer is “no”, we don’t get to see the rest of the notes because she won’t let us, then she is once again the person responsible for eliminating data from this mess. At some point we should notice that pattern and see it’s self serving.

                            Or can we talk to the therapist? Could this be quoting everyone not in the room as supporting them, when in reality they don’t?

                            No, she contacted _the Washington Post_ before the nomination. This was when Kavanaugh was just on the shortlist, on July 6th. She also says she reached out to a ‘local government representative’ at that time, we’ll see who that was at her testimony. He wasn’t nominated until the 9th.

                            So we’ve gone from years backdated to days, and only after he was at the top of the short list. This is something I could point to as support.

                            People who think she is lying are postulating a lie prepared years in advance…

                            Hardly “prepared years in advance (against K)”, more like “I could spin X so that K did it instead of Z”.

                            Even if she were willing to wait for years fo the outcome, she’d have targetted him from the start!

                            You mean she didn’t care until Kennedy’s seat was involved? And she didn’t supply a name until the seat was involved? So is it possible she was attacked by someone else (who no doubt has a history of this sort of thing by now) and has simply changed the names because of the seat?

                            But, seriously, which do _you_ think it was?

                            At the moment I’m following data around and seeing what I can rule out.

                            I find it disturbing I can’t rule out false allegation in the context of strong motivation for false allegation. I find it disturbing the people not in the room who she’s claiming will support her don’t support her and I’m wondering how far that trend goes. I find it disturbing we’re assuming she has accurate memories on the stuff we can’t evaluate when she’s either wrong or her information is missing on everything we can evaluate.

                            And if we ignore all of that and assume the self described liberal activist is selflessly telling the exact truth as she sees it and is ignoring the politics (which is close to saying she’s not human), then we’re assuming the drunk 15 year old understood totally the intentions of the very drunk 17 year olds and they decided to commit gang rape because she was in the same room as they were. There are certainly people like that (Bill Cosby) but apparently this was both the first and last time they did this, which seems unlikely.

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                            • And can we see these notes? Is that the only point where her story has shifted?

                              I know, it’s almost as if we should stop for a second and investigate this or something.

                              You mean she didn’t care until Kennedy’s seat was involved? And she didn’t supply a name until the seat was involved? So is it possible she was attacked by someone else (who no doubt has a history of this sort of thing by now) and has simply changed the names because of the seat?

                              So, you’re…going with the theory she actually was attacked, and dismissing the rather odd theory she was just wrong about who did it(Which was implausible) to just…lying about who did it?

                              That’s…a weird thing for an assault survivor to do. In fact, it’s so odd I can’t ever remember ‘actual rape, fake preparator’ _ever_ happening. In all of history. Consensual sex claimed to be rape, or nothing pretended to be rape, yes. But actual assault but blaming the wrong person on purpose?

                              But, I mean, if Kavanaugh really did behave like this, surely there would be some other allegations of sexual misconduct while drinking…

                              *holds finger to earpiece*

                              Ah. There was the other shoe. Hello, Deborah Ramirez. I’m not going to recount what she’s said, but people need to go read it if they haven’t been paying attention.

                              And _this_ is being backed up by others. Other people have recounted that they heard the story she’s telling at the time. And Kavanaugh former roommate said that despite not seeing the events recounted by Ramirez, he thinks it’s entirely possible and says Kavanaugh was ‘frequently, incoherently drunk’.

                              Apparently, there are a few people at Yale who seem to think that Kavanaugh liked to drink extremely heavily and…not possibly technically sexual assault women. Come really close, but…not quite?

                              And, interestingly, Ramirez doesn’t really seem to have a real problem with Kavanaugh behavior per se…she just seems to be stepping forward to make sure people know that ‘Drinking heavily and getting egged on to do stupid and borderline sexual assault-y things to drunk women is _entirely_ within Kavanaugh’s character, thus Ford’s story is entirely plausible.’.

                              Even if not we’re not going to believe Ford for some reason…are we really at the point where we are going to elect Supreme Court judges that got extremely drunk in college (While under the legal drinking age, in fact.) and exposed themselves to drunk and almost unconscious women at the urging of other drunken men?

                              …you know, we once rejected a Supreme Court Justice for having smoked pot in his youth.

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                              • But actual assault but blaming the wrong person on purpose?

                                My point is the most accurate way to view all this drama is the Liberal Activists (including Ford) view the entire point of this as a club against Trump/Kennedy’s seat to the point the truth of the matter is basically irrelevant.

                                We’re doing things backwards from how the normal assault case works. Normally you start with an assault case and go forward from that. We’re going to everywhere where K has been and asking every activist who might have known him if they know anything to derail the nomination. This selects for the craziest person possible and invites them to make stuff up. It also creates story matching by interested parties, etc. Far as I can tell none of this would pass any sort of evidence hearing and all of it seems to fall apart when faced with facts.

                                Knowing the right stuff to say to play on emotions but having no facts to back it up is a good way to describe the nightmare lunatic which has plagued my family. The longer this goes on the more it seems like Ford is a higher functioning version of that.

                                But hey, I’ve got an idea: Let’s compromise. You think the assault is real and the important thing. You think it merits a full investigation because it’s about justice and not Kennedy’s seat, so great, let’s do that.

                                1) The GOP will agree to have a FULL investigation of K and Ford. Pull out all the stops, question everyone Ford remembers under oath, etc. Let it take months or even years.

                                2) But while we’re waiting for the outcome, the Dems cooperate with putting him on the Supreme Court.

                                3) If there’s anything to these accusations, the GOP agrees to help the Dems impeach him… and the articles of impeachment will include his replacement, who Trump will pick.

                                There, no more time constraints. No more using the assault as a political football. We treat Ford and her accusation seriously at the cost of removing Kennedy’s seat from the equation.

                                Come really close, but…not quite? And, interestingly, Ramirez doesn’t really seem to have a real problem with Kavanaugh behavior per se…she just seems to be stepping forward to make sure people know that ‘Drinking heavily and getting egged on to do stupid and borderline sexual assault-y things to drunk women is _entirely_ within Kavanaugh’s character…

                                The accusation on the table is attempted gang rape. Are you withdrawing that in favor of “borderline sexual assault-y things?” Maybe admitting that Ford was simply wrong about how far K would go? And I’ll point out (from my 5 seconds of research) the new accusation is that of exposing himself publicly at a party… and once again the accuser is the only person who remembers anything.

                                are we really at the point where we are going to elect Supreme Court judges that got extremely drunk in college…

                                Speaking as someone who drinks at most 4 beers a year and who is generally opposed to society’s love of alcohol and our tolerance for it… I don’t think we’ve ever asked any of the Supremes about their pre-Adult experimentation with Alcohol. I suspect we don’t even care about their current use of Alcohol short of alcoholism, and maybe not even then.

                                And I don’t think anyone actually cares about that in any context other than using it as a club to affect the balance of the Court.

                                …you know, we once rejected a Supreme Court Justice for having smoked pot in his youth.

                                We rejected him for being insufficiently Conservative. Smoking pot was a huge virtue signal that he was a player for team Blue, which is a problem for a Red President’s nominee.

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                                • We’re going to everywhere where K has been and asking every activist who might have known him if they know anything to derail the nomination.

                                  No, we aren’t.

                                  The stories about Kavanaugh showed up on the Yale alumni mailing list the second he was nominated. People with all sorts of crazy stories of how Kavanaugh misbehaved while drunk, often in a sexual manner.

                                  And there is a man who _independently recalled_ to Farrow, before the story was public, hearing as a rumor many of the details that Ramirez said. The story of ‘Kavanaugh just put his dick in Ramirez’s face’ was an actual real rumor that other Yale students heard at the time.

                                  It sure is weird this ‘Kavanaugh, when drunk, is a sexual predator who will do anything you urge him to do’ claim almost exactly aligns to _Ford’s_ claims at a completely different school.

                                  You’d think, if people were making up random claims, one of them would claim, I dunno, drug us, or domestic violence, or any random allegations, really. Nope. Somehow they both guessed the same basic story…that women aren’t safe around Kavanaugh when he drinks, especially if he’s in a group of other men like that urging him on.

                                  You’d also think they’d make up some claims about Gorsuch, the _actual_ stolen seat that Democrats were very bitter about, and who, believe it or not, also went to Georgetown Prep and Yale. Weird all these women who make up stories just let that completely slide.

                                  Let’s compromise.

                                  1) You are not in charge of the GOP and cannot offer compromises. You can’t pretend this is actual some compromise being offered.

                                  2) We do not put people in the Supreme Court and _then_ see if they belong there.

                                  3) The Republicans cannot be trusted to behave within norms at this point, witness them refusing to bring Garland to the floor. Additionally, this isn’t just the leaders, it requires something like 15 Republicans Senators.

                                  4) Speaking of Garland, I point out that we just had a span of _over a year_ with eight members of the court, for basically _no reason at all_. We can certainly have a span of a few months with eight for an actual good reason.

                                  We treat Ford and her accusation seriously at the cost of removing Kennedy’s seat from the equation.

                                  If the Republicans really care about Kennedy’s seat, perhaps they should pick literally anyone else.

                                  Also, by making appeals to political calculation, it’s really absurd to claim Democrats are politizing the process. You can’t really have it both ways, you can’t demand this is a seat that Republican deserve to fill _and_ that the Democrats have to compromise.

                                  The accusation on the table is attempted gang rape. Are you withdrawing that in favor of “borderline sexual assault-y things?” Maybe admitting that Ford was simply wrong about how far K would go?

                                  Things that are ‘attempted’ crimes are also _actual lesser_ crimes. Attempted murder is often actual assault. Likewise attempted rape is often actual sexual assault. (In places that disinguishes the two.)

                                  And Ford’s letter just claims she was ‘sexually assaulted’ by having someone jump on her and try to remove her clothes. She didn’t say _anything_ about ‘attempted rape’. That’s just everyone else making the assumption that ‘a man holding a woman down and covering her mouth while forcibly trying to take off her clothes’ was leading to rape. She isn’t alleging that, because she cannot read minds or see the future.

                                  Now, I’m not 100% sure that what she describes in that letter is technically sexual assault, or just plain _normal_ assault. (And also kidnapping.) Sexual assault is legally ‘unwanted sexual contact’, whereas she just describes her mouth being covered and Kavanaugh laying on her body, and trying to remove her clothes, which _almost certainly_ includes sexual contact, but in theory might not.

                                  Hence my ‘borderline sexual assault’, to go along with pulling out a penis and waving it in someone’s face close enough that they have to touch it to get it away from them, which is also probably not technically sexual assault.

                                  But the thing is…we’re not trying to figure out what crimes were committed. We’re trying to figure out the events.

                                  Wait, wait…for Ford to be _wrong_ about how far Kavanaugh was willing to go implicitly accepts that Ford’s story is correct. Are _you_ withdrawing the idea she was wrong?

                                  I mean, are you trying to argue that the truth of the matter is that Kavanaugh attacked Ford and laid on top of her and tried to forcibly undress her but wasn’t going to rape her? Just going to strip her clothes off and, I dunno, humiliate her?

                                  Is…that acceptable behavior? Do we put ‘Not legally a rapist’ on the highest court in the land?

                                  Here’s what I think: Kavanaugh and Judge and his group of friends (Both in high school and at Yale.) basically used to get drunk and find drunk women and generally molest them. If the women fought back, if the women were _sober_ enough to resist, they usually just sorta let them go. If not, they…had sex with the too-drunk-to-resist women.

                                  Possibly inviting others to join, based on what Avenatti has been hinting at with ‘lines of men stretched outside bedrooms’. We’re still waiting for whatever new women he is going to bring forward tomorrow. (And, yes, Avenatti is a showboater, but he doesn’t seem to _lie_.)

                                  And Ford just happened to _not_ be that drunk and resisted. Kavanaugh miscalculated with her.

                                  So, no, I technically think he ‘wasn’t going to rape Ford, but only because she was too sober for him to handle…as he found out. Nor was he going to rape Ramirez, her account isn’t really an account of sexual assault (I’m not 100% that what he did there is even technically illegal.), it’s just showing that Kavanaugh was the sort of person who gets blackout drunk and egged on into sexual misbehavior by the people around him.

                                  And…I think that renders him completely unacceptable to be on the highest court in the land. Especially since there’s possibly a bunch of basically unconscious women out there that _weren’t_ sober enough to resist, and he might actually be a rapist.

                                  BTW, I think it’s very telling Kavanaugh keeps saying he did not ‘sexually assault’ anyone. Because I think it’s clear in his mind that, if the women resisted too much, he stopped, so he doesn’t think of that as ‘sexual assault’. Sadly, no one has ever bothered to ask him ‘Would you consider the events as recounted by Ford to an account of be sexual assaulted?’.

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                                  • And there is a man who _independently recalled_ to Farrow, before the story was public, hearing as a rumor many of the details that Ramirez said.

                                    We’ve seen efforts to backdate these stories and “independant” accounts which turn out to be nothing of the kind. We’re deep in to “the Pulse shooter was (anti)gay” territory where people ‘know’ what the truth is and are supporting it with “Mike Brown was shot in the back” stories.

                                    Or in other words, please source that it was independant and please source that it happened before and not after Ford. The effidence bar here needs to be fairly high because otherwise we’re looking at magician’s tricks.

                                    The Republicans cannot be trusted to behave within norms at this point…

                                    The GOP isn’t the group treating fact-free allegations as serious. Nor did the GOP delay any effort at finding the truth by 3 months.

                                    If not, they…had sex with the too-drunk-to-resist women.

                                    Source that. Lay down some facts.

                                    You’re assuming what you should be proving, and then deciding what punishment they should have based on your assumption. Nancy’s distancing of herself from believing the accusation is true makes me wonder if the informed Dems don’t believe this is true.

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                                    • Or in other words, please source that it was independant and please source that it happened before and not after Ford. The effidence bar here needs to be fairly high because otherwise we’re looking at magician’s tricks.

                                      It’s literally in the original story by Farrow and Mayer.

                                      A classmate of Ramirez’s, who declined to be identified because of the partisan battle over Kavanaugh’s nomination, said that another student told him about the incident either on the night of the party or in the next day or two. The classmate said that he is “one-hundred-per-cent sure” that he was told at the time that Kavanaugh was the student who exposed himself to Ramirez. He independently recalled many of the same details offered by Ramirez, including that a male student had encouraged Kavanaugh as he exposed himself. The classmate, like Ramirez, recalled that the party took place in a common room on the first floor in Entryway B of Lawrance Hall, during their freshman year. “I’ve known this all along,” he said. “It’s been on my mind all these years when his name came up. It was a big deal.” The story stayed with him, he said, because it was disturbing and seemed outside the bounds of typically acceptable behavior, even during heavy drinking at parties on campus.

                                      -https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/senate-democrats-investigate-a-new-allegation-of-sexual-misconduct-from-the-supreme-court-nominee-brett-kavanaughs-college-years-deborah-ramirez

                                      ‘independently recalled many of the same details’…and that was, obviously, before the story came out, because _that’s_ the original story.

                                      I guess you can allege that Farrow and Mayers are just _making stuff up_ if you want. They presumably have a recording of this, but there’s literally no way to prove they didn’t call this guy up in advance and feed him the details.

                                      But there are, apparently, not just those examples. Farrow and Mayers says they actually have hell of a lot of confirmation that _rumors_ about this were flying around Yale right after it is alleged to happen, very specific rumors that match up Ramirez’s story. Some of them can’t remember one or both of the names, but plenty can.

                                      So there’s enough evidence that it is almost indisputable that there was a _rumor_ that Kavanaugh exposed himself to Ramirez at a specific party, down to the exact date and location(1). (Probably due to the ‘Guy who shouted it out out the door’ in the story.) In fact, Yale alumni _knowing_ these rumors and talking about them on a few mailing lists, aka ‘Hey, remember the time the current Supreme Court nominee stuck his dick in Betsy Ramirez’s face?’ is why she was tracked down by Farrow and Mayers in the first place.

                                      Now, this does not prove this happened. Rumors are not truths. But you can’t claim everyone just invented it _now_. If someone invented that rumor, they did so in 1983 or 1984.

                                      And…weirdly, almost no one is willing to come forward and say ‘That doesn’t sound like Kavanaugh’. In fact, there’s an odd amount of people saying ‘Yeah, I didn’t even hear that specific rumor, but it doesn’t surprise me he’d do that.’!

                                      Oh, wait, there’s a major story on the right-wing media how her supposed best-friend is coming forward to say that she would have heard such a story, and did not. What the right-wing media is failing to mention is a) that friend is married to someone that Ramirez says was in the room, and b) like most victims, Ramirez didn’t really tell anyone, so being close to Ramirez is hardly relevant. (_Unlike_ most victim, however, there’s confirmation because some idiot shouted this down the hall at the dorms so tons of people knew about it, including the names of the people involved.)

                                      Hell, Ramirez herself doesn’t seem to remember what happened very clearly. So it is, hypothetically, possible that didn’t actually happen at the party. She went to a party, had a drinking game, and maybe someone _else_ pulled down their pants, or maybe no one did, and the guy shouting stuff out the door was lying. And then, later, based on the rumors, she confabulated it into a memory.

                                      But…this is an…interesting excuse to try to slide through. The problem actually _isn’t_ what he did. As I said I’m not 100% sure it even was illegal…dorm rooms are not public places so indecent exposure laws possibly didn’t apply (State laws can vary. In Georgia you could expose yourself on someone else’s non-public property without the consent of the people there until 2015!), and while people _can_ sexually assault someone by putting their genitalia where people have to unwilling touch them, that gets really really tricky to actually prove at such a distance.

                                      And Ramirez doesn’t seem to care particularly about this. She was upset about it when it happened, but seems to have gotten over it. She came forward not particularly to point out a crime, but to point out that Kavanaugh claims of not heavy drinking or partying (or sexually misconducting himself when doing that) are _utterly bogus_.

                                      And…her story did confirm that, not because of the actual story. I mean, that did it too, but the sheer amount of his classmates saying ‘Yeah, that really sounds like him.’, have confirmed he was a heavy drinker and huge party animal at Yale, too. And presumably in high school also, which we actually already knew from Judge’s book but were pretending we didn’t.

                                      That right there is Kavanaugh lying under oath. No, strike that. I don’t have to prove it’s ‘lying’, this isn’t a trial.

                                      He’s repeated _mislead Congress_ under oath by giving a false impression of himself. Just like he mislead people about stolen emails, or being involved in Pickering’s nomination.

                                      1) Incidentally, Farrow and Mayers haven’t made it public exactly when in the 1983-1984 year, or the exact room number in the Lawrance Hall this happened in, but they describe people confirming those things. They, obviously, are withholding those facts on purpose, so they can actually confirm what people tell them.

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                                      • A classmate of Ramirez’s, who declined to be identified because of the partisan battle over Kavanaugh’s nomination, said that another student told him about the incident either on the night of the party or in the next day or two.

                                        So A (who is unnamed) told B (who is unnamed) who told a reporter? This is what you think could pass a high evidence bar? How sure are we that A even exists? Is B yet another liberal activist?

                                        ‘independently recalled many of the same details’…and that was, obviously, before the story came out, because _that’s_ the original story.

                                        No, FORD is the “original” story. If you’re suggesting these aren’t heavily influence by Ford you need to prove their claims predate her claims (or better yet, Kennedy stepping down). I see nothing in your link to suggest this is the case. (Worse, see below about magic tricks.)

                                        The good news is if we actually had a guy running around exposing himself (and according to you, committing other sex crimes including rape) on a routine basis, there’s a good chance there’s photos or police reports or something a LOT more substantial than 2nd, 3rd, 4th hand information from people who “believe Ford” and are trying to help her by remembering what they “know” (now) is true.

                                        Farrow and Mayers says they actually have hell of a lot of confirmation that _rumors_ about this were flying around Yale right after it is alleged to happen, very specific rumors that match up Ramirez’s story.

                                        The plural of antidote is not data. The plural of 2nd or 3rd hand antidote also isn’t data.

                                        Worse, we’re (accidentally?) recreated a con-man’s magic trick. How many rumors are there of K? Hundreds? Thousands? There was liberal hysteria from the start, I wouldn’t be shocked at tens of thousands, but let’s go with thousands.

                                        From those thousands of rumors we keep only the ones about sex and Yale and ignore the others. Presto, magically there are a dozen rumors that seem like they’re collectively something and support each other. I can make any graph I want if I’m allowed to plot a dozen carefully picked ones out of a thousand randomly created points.

                                        Your own source says these rumors disagree with each other on the details. So they support each other to the same level as the various “Mike Brown was surrendering when the cop shot him” rumors did. When we have a group of self conflicting stories cherry picked from a larger set, the way to bet isn’t on there being a kernel of truth at the bottom.

                                        That changes if you can prove these claims predate the liberal hysteria which Kennedy’s seat has created. Your ideal evidence would be a police report or even a college report saying “K accused of exposing himself”. Less ideal would be an email about K between two students at the time (email came out 46 years ago). What you have is progressive activists saying what must have been true and convincing themselves they knew it way back when. BTW both Ford and Ramirez are progressive activists.

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                                        • “if we actually had a guy running around exposing himself (and according to you, committing other sex crimes including rape) on a routine basis, there’s a good chance there’s photos or police reports or something a LOT more substantial than 2nd, 3rd, 4th hand information ‘

                                          no. There’s a very *small* chance of that for acquaintance rape / sexual assault at drunken parties in the 80s.

                                          I went to a university with crowds like Kavanaugh’s in the mid-90s and neither the city cops nor the school cops were likely to be interested AT ALL in such reports unless they happened in the women’s only dorm. (Because that was where people were supposed to live if they were worried about their physical safety, or if their parents were likely to raise a huge fuss and get people in trouble if they weren’t treated right.) I worked a crisis line and I had friends who worked as immediate responders / support people to raped women. The cops Did Not Give One Shit. They were likely to threaten to prosecute the women for various things (eg underage drinking, or marijuana use, whether or not such things were even the case) in order to chase them off rather than go through the supposed processes for dealing with rape victims. And those were the few women who were willing to take the risks of reporting.

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                                          • I’ve no clue what that area was like, but I strongly suspect that issue is more of a regional thing than a time thing. If the local department cares then they do something, if they don’t then they won’t.

                                            However that still leaves other sources of “records”(*), and admittedly, (bringing us back to this threads title), that is getting easier to keep around long term.

                                            (*) Yes, I know. If the cops and the U were both suppressing things that becomes harder locally… but it’s still on the accusers side to provide some proof of witch-hood and not on the defendant’s side to disprove it, especially in the context of mass hysteria.

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                                            • I was just fact-checking your claim. As far as “regional” or “time period” goes, I suspect it’s a facet of “having a lot of people with a lot of class privilege and money involved” more than regional *or* time, but there is a time factor in that Title IX in the States and similar laws in Canada were used to bludgeon some of this (not all, I’m not sure even most) out of the system – and certainly to push it more underground – once the people who were college girls in the 80s and 90s found some footholds to make it stop. (The Clery Act in the US, insofar as it reformed reporting, also had an impact, and its impact was delayed from the beginning of it being implemented in 1990 until the reports had time to gain some momentum and effect on the public stage in the late 90s.. leading non-coincidentally to a lot of colleges forcing clean-ups on their frats and the surrouding culture, in the early 2000s.) I agree that it brings us back around to the subject of the OP.

                                              And, again, as others have mentioned scores of times on this site in the last few years, the constant equation of ‘does not get promoted’ and other such negative consequences that matter but don’t kill or physically torture anyone, with ‘witch hunt’ is a bit much, given the relative consequences of the two things.

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                                              • , the constant equation of ‘does not get promoted’ and other such negative consequences that matter but don’t kill anyone, with ‘witch hunt’ is a bit much, given the relative consequences of the two things.

                                                “Preventing a promotion” is what the GOP did to Garland. He won’t be spending the rest of his life with half the country convinced he’s a “gang rapist/serial sexual assaulter” when his actual “crime” was “don’t like his politics”.

                                                witch-hunt: (INFORMAL) a campaign directed against a person or group holding unorthodox or unpopular views (Google’s dictionary).

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                                                • Unless he’s confirmed, half the country won’t remember who Brett Kavanaugh is in six months, in fact I wouldn’t be surprised if half the country doesn’t know who he is right now.

                                                  Mayyyyyyyybe 5 percent of the country will spend the rest of his life convinced of that.

                                                  For a numbers guy, you sure can be cavalier with numbers.

                                                  And I could give a shit about his politics, I’m just sick of powerful people who, to me, are obviously doing harm, being put up on a pedestal and given all kinds of defenses that (again, to me) only make sense if your mind is muddied, in order to protect their privilege and the power they wield over the rest of us.

                                                  (I felt disgusted by Clinton being on Murphy Brown, too, if that helps at all to convince you of my sincerity about this. And if Feinstein held this to drop it at the last minute, that was despicable of her. I don’t think she did, but if she did, it was despicable.)

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                                                  • Unless he’s confirmed, half the country won’t remember who Brett Kavanaugh is in six months,

                                                    The odds of confirmation are high given the alternatives are a lame duck SC placement or sharing placement with the Dems.

                                                    Mayyyyyyyybe 5 percent of the country will spend the rest of his life convinced of that.

                                                    So, every time he’s in a restaurant, or at the mall, or maybe even at church.

                                                    He’s going to have people walking up to him and calling him a rapist for the rest of his life (assuming he makes it to the SC).

                                                    And I could give a shit about his politics…

                                                    Good that your motives are so pure.

                                                    It’s less good that we still haven’t figured out whether or not he’s guilty of being a witch, (or anything other than having the wrong politics), and everyone accusing him REALLY wants that golden chair he’s set to inherit. That seems self serving. Similarly, team blue are also the ones who hid these accusations for months to make actual justice difficult or impossible. That also seems self serving.

                                                    IMHO Justice would not benefit by this issue being turned into a tool to be used against the politically inconvenient.

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                                                    • “He’s going to have people walking up to him and calling him a rapist for the rest of his life (assuming he makes it to the SC).”

                                                      Oh, no. Rich people don’t live that way, not in a way where random people are given the opportunity to walk up to them and verbally assault them all the time, let alone rich people who are also that powerful.

                                                      It’s going to happen maybe once a month at worst, and not in places where he likes to be.

                                                      I get called vile names more often than that by random strangers on the street, just by virtue of walking around with feminine curves, minding my own beeswax.

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                                        • So A (who is unnamed) told B (who is unnamed) who told a reporter? This is what you think could pass a high evidence bar? How sure are we that A even exists? Is B yet another liberal activist?

                                          Gee, if only there was some sort of method in which we could have the people who documented this stuff, and the original sources, present it under some sort of legal penalty if they lied. Some sort of fact-finding situation, perhaps by people trained in that. Ah well.

                                          No, FORD is the “original” story. If you’re suggesting these aren’t heavily influence by Ford you need to prove their claims predate her claims (or better yet, Kennedy stepping down). I see nothing in your link to suggest this is the case. (Worse, see below about magic tricks.),

                                          Then you didn’t read the link:

                                          Mark Krasberg, an assistant professor of neurosurgery at the University of New Mexico who was also a member of Kavanaugh and Ramirez’s class at Yale, said Kavanaugh’s college behavior had become a topic of discussion among former Yale students soon after Kavanaugh’s nomination.

                                          Yale students were discussing this story before Ford. Here’s it more explicitly in another story: ‘Mayer said she first saw Yale alumni emails discussing the incident in July.’

                                          https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2018/9/24/17895740/new-yorker-jane-mayer-yale-university-emails-brett-kavanaugh-deborah-ramirez

                                          As I said, Yale alumni have basically been talking about what Kavanaugh did to Ramirez literally since the nomination. Well before Ford came forward.

                                          The story wasn’t even _from_ Ramirez. She was contacted by Farrow and Mayers way back then because of the _rumors_ that Yale students were spreading.

                                          She doesn’t remember it particularly well (Which would be more useful to Kavanaugh’s defense if there weren’t a bunch of students independently recounting the story in pretty clear detail.), and didn’t even want anything to do with it _until_ she saw Kavanaugh spewing lies about what he was like in high school.

                                          If you want ‘evidence’ that Yale alumni were talking about it that early, well, _ask for an investigation_. You don’t seem to take Farrow and Mayer at their word about the evidence they possess, so it’s unclear why you would believe them if they produce what they _said_ were time-stamped email messages. You’d presumably just say that they could have made that up.

                                          The only way to prove email messages are real and from the time they are claimed to be from is _via a formal investigation_ from some sort of law enforcement agency. The fact you don’t seem to be demanding that to scrutinize the evidence you refuse to accept is…odd, if you actually wish to get to the bottom of this.

                                          More to the point, you seem to be operating on the idea that anyone who comes forward that might have known about other allegations are making them up. In addition to this not being the situation here (Because we got really lucky in that people at Yale actually _heard_ about this situation so were talking about it before any allegations.), one allegation obviously will be first, and other allegations will follow. That’s how the passage of time works.

                                          Under your logic, you seem to think that _additional_ examples of sexual misbehavior prove a conspiracy amongst people who’ve had no interaction with each other. No. Additional examples of sexual misbehavior _strengthen_ the original claims, because people who behave like that do it more than once. The case is actually weaker if there’s only one claim.

                                          That changes if you can prove these claims predate the liberal hysteria which Kennedy’s seat has created. Your ideal evidence would be a police report or even a college report saying “K accused of exposing himself”.

                                          And again I point out: Exposing himself in a private dorm room is possibly not technically a crime anyway, and certainly not a provable one. (That’s not even getting into whether or not an allegation would be believed.)

                                          Less ideal would be an email about K between two students at the time (email came out 46 years ago).

                                          If you think random college students had email accounts in the 1983-1984 school year, you are _very_ mistaken about the history of email. Email at that time (off of the restricted ARPANet, which Yale as a private school could not have been on) was a bunch of propritary systems. Compuserve, AOL, etc. And a bunch of internal systems. I _seriously_ doubt Yale had an internal system or let _students_ access it, but it’s rather moot, as there is no way that any of those email still exist in any form barring some sort of miracle.

                                          But…since you don’t want an investigation anyway, if someone by some miracle actually _did_ have some archive of those old emails, and tried to tell people, you’d probably just say ‘Why didn’t those come out earlier?’ or ‘magic tricks’.

                                          We have no way of actually proving _anything_ if the words of people (Including their word about tangible evidence they possess) cannot be accepted because it’s not tangible evidence, and we refuse to have an investigation to collect and judge the tangible evidence.

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                                          • Gmail and Microsoft office 365 / Hotmail use DKIM signatures, so they can be verified as unaltered as to both time and content. It’s a server signature not a personal signature, so it doesn’t prove the actual person sent it, just someone who had access to their account. Still it’s pretty good.

                                            This also applies also where institutions use these services for their corporate email, on their own domain name. Yale’s email system is Gmail, Harvard’s is office 365, etc.

                                            This is the same technology that allowed people on the internet to verify that the leaked emails from hillaryclinton.com were not forged after the purported sent date, as hillaryclinton.com used Gmail.

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                                            • I know there are ways to confirm the timestamp of email messages. But Farrow and Mayers probably do not consider it ethical to publish whatever email chains they have been forwarded without the agreement of everyone on them.

                                              Of course, for the purpose of this strange argument, we don’t even need to confirm that Yale alumni were talking about it, just that Farrow and Mayers were _working_ on this story before Ford came forward.

                                              They are journalists, they surely have all sorts of documentation of what story they were working on at a certain time. Filestamps on servers, email messages between each other, all sorts of things. The New Yorker itself certainly knows, too.

                                              Which is the real objection here, as this is professional journalism, published in the New Yorker. The idea that they’re lying about this, that this is some conspiracy that was invented _after_ Ford came forward, is utterly absurd. The New Yorker wouldn’t have let them lie about what they’d been working on, if they only started working in mid-September.

                                              But this ‘evidence’ (Since we’ve apparently stopped taking professional journalists about their word about their own actions.) requires someone to actually check. Via an investigation.

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                                              • But Farrow and Mayers probably do not consider it ethical to publish whatever email chains they have been forwarded without the agreement of everyone on them.

                                                It’s unethical to display evidence? You’re going to have to do a lot better than that.

                                                we don’t even need to confirm that Yale alumni were talking about it, just that Farrow and Mayers were _working_ on this story before Ford came forward.

                                                Two problems.
                                                1) First, we’ve got lots of reporters working on K, picking the most outrageous story is still cherry picking unless there’s evidence.

                                                2) I’m pretty sure the Rolling Stone would have confirmed their reporter was working on that accusation case. I’m a lot more concerned about how good a job they did than what their bosses thought.

                                                And it’s not even “do they believe their story”, it’s what steps did they take to prevent themselves from being lied to?

                                                But this ‘evidence’ (Since we’ve apparently stopped taking professional journalists about their word about their own actions.) requires someone to actually check. Via an investigation.

                                                You’ve had more than three months. What more do you need?

                                                All joking aside, it would be outrageous if K is guilty and ends up on the SC anyway. Mostly that would be because we don’t have the time at this point to do a proper investigation. If it happens I think it’s disingenuous to pretend Dem obstruction played no role in that lack of time, and it’s extremely disingenuous to pretend that we do have time.

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                                          • We’re in the world of active disinformation and when I’ve been able to trace back who is saying what the big accusers have always been liberal activists. When you think about it terms of percentage of population, that’s a problem.

                                            The question then becomes to what degree liberal activists have their fingers on the scale in terms of vetting/creating rumors.

                                            However, excellent post, you’re on the verge of passing a sanity check here and disproving my “magician’s trick” idea.

                                            All you have to do is show me the original email chain and end this silly “A told B who told Me”.

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                                            • All you have to do is show me the original email chain and end this silly “A told B who told Me”.

                                              As I said, reporters who have possession of things like that do not consider it ethical to publish such things without the consent of people _in_ those chains. This is even assuming they were sent an email chain and were not just told about it, or that the person who forwarded the chain used a mail service that signed emails.

                                              But we will now have the FBI presumably have that documentation in evidence…although actually, no one seems to be seriously _questioning_ what you’ve decided to question, because that’s a weird thing to question.

                                              As I pointed out, the idea that Farrow and Mayers blatantly lied about when they started investigating this is…really absurd, and doesn’t even require email to prove. The New Yorker knows what they were working on. There’s lots of ways biases can enter into journalism, and the story as it is is somewhat weak. (As I said, it says more about how a lot of people go ‘Yeah that sounds like him when he was drinking’ and ‘I remember hearing that rumor, I thought it was true at the time because that’s how he acted’, than the actual allegations of what he did.) But the idea they’d just make up lies about when they talked to people is absurd.

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                                              • This is even assuming they were sent an email chain and were not just told about it,

                                                So the so-called solid information has started to get handwavy again. And we might even be looking at one (or a few) point(s) of communication who are yet another activist(s) who is “remembering” what things were like 30+ years ago.

                                                But the idea they’d just make up lies about when they talked to people is absurd.

                                                You’re pointing to chains of communication and claiming that since you believe one link is solid the entire chain must be solid. That’s not how chains work, they’re only as strong as the weakest link, not the strongest.

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                                                • Do you even remember what you were arguing against?

                                                  I first pointed out ‘The general fact that that rumor even existed and that people, both now and back then, thought that rumor was behavior that fit within their general understand of Kavanaugh’s behavior’, is actually somewhat more telling to me than whatever actually happened in that room, because that backs up _exactly_ the sort of behavior alleged by Ford’, and you tried to assert this was because they were based off the Ford story…which is clearly impossible based on the timeline.

                                                  So you went entirely down the rabbit hole about the timeline of the investigation. That is where you have ended up. Just flatly claiming that two journalists are lying about the easily disprovable fact of what they have been doing for two months. Not ‘reporting with bias’, not ‘selectively picking facts’, but literally just making up a retroactive investigation after the Ford allegations came out, concocting this entire thing in about a week.

                                                  Objecting to the claimed timeline of an investigation is almost surreal. Mostly because, as I pointed out, such a thing would be trivially easy for any trivial investigation to disprove. There’s all sorts of documentation of what Farrow and Mayers were doing, call logs and notes and filed expense reports and everything.

                                                  dragonfrog then pointed out that if the journalists had emails from certain places, the DKIM sigs could validate the timeline, so they could just release those even without any ‘investigation’ and let people confirm them, but as I pointed out, such email discussions would involve emails form many people, and they’d need to get _all_ of their permission to release them. Or for all we know they were sent the email chain by someone who didn’t do that, or were just allowed to read it and not keep it.

                                                  You then appear to have gotten confused about we trying to prove, and allege something about how it might be an ‘activist’ or something that told Farrow and Mayers. That we need those emails to ‘prove’ something.

                                                  We might need those emails to prove what was being ‘talked about’, although it’s worth noting that’s a single line in the article and the actual important thing there is what people actually said when contacted.

                                                  But that’s…not what you disputed, or at least not all you disputed. The thing _you_ disputed that I addressed is whether the investigation into that rumor started in July or September, which is….only under dispute in your head, and literally nowhere else. Of course there’s no ‘evidence’ of this, because unclear what sort of evidence would even be acceptable to you…presumably, if the New Yorker said ‘They were working on this’, well, perhaps the New Yorker is lying. They could show timestamps and logs to other people, but maybe _those_ people are lying.

                                                  In fact, did Ramirez even _make_ any claims? Is Brett Kavanaugh even really his name? Do we even have a Supreme Court? I demand we accept none of those things as true without an investigation, and I also demand we not have an investigation!

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                                                  • I first pointed out ‘The general fact that that rumor even existed and that people, both now and back then…

                                                    But you’re not actually letting me see the evidence are you? You’re pointing to people who claim it exists, but even they admit it’s at best 2nd hand, and the level to which it’s on point is unknown, the number of other rumors they’re culling out is also unknown, and even the timing of it is unknown.

                                                    Just flatly claiming that two journalists are lying about the easily disprovable fact of what they have been doing for two months

                                                    You’re misrepresenting my concerns. I’ve used “The Rolling Stone” as an example and the issue there wasn’t that the journalist lying, it was that someone up stream was and the journalist hadn’t caught it because she wanted to believe.

                                                    Even if everything your journalists said is correct it could still be simply irrelevant, say if they’ve only got one source that’s actually on point and that one source is yet another activist. Or it could be irrelevant if they’ve got thousands of rumors and they’re connecting ones who accidentally match on any point when they really should match on them all, etc.

                                                    Fundamentally we don’t know enough to judge whether this is proof or something a lot less. And thus far in this mess the way to bet would be “a lot less”. As far as I can tell everyone stepping forward with 30+ year old memories is also strongly motivated to find them because Team Blue cares deeply about Kennedy’s seat. That is (or at least should be) a pretty serious problem as far as credibility goes. So does that also go for these rumors?

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                                                    • You’re misrepresenting my concerns. I’ve used “The Rolling Stone” as an example and the issue there wasn’t that the journalist lying, it was that someone up stream was and the journalist hadn’t caught it because she wanted to believe.

                                                      No, you’re trying to misrepresent my original claim.

                                                      I didn’t say they were ‘telling the truth’.

                                                      My original point was that, those supposed lies somehow magically matched the exact sort of misbehavior that Kavanaugh is being accused of by Ford, which seems _wildly_ improbable. There were dozens of lies his classmates could have told about him, from academic misbehavior to drunk driving to cocaine addition to domestic violence, and, yet, _somehow_ they lucked into ‘sexual misbehavior towards a woman egged on by others while heavily drinking’, which is a frankly astonishing coincidence.

                                                      You then responded by claiming that they might have based their lies off Ford’s story:

                                                      Or in other words, please source that it was independant and please source that it happened before and not after Ford. The effidence bar here needs to be fairly high because otherwise we’re looking at magician’s tricks.

                                                      I then pointed out that the original article says that these claims appeared in July, and other articles clearly say the journalists have been investigating since then.

                                                      And you then tried to demand the _journalists_ produce evidence of this investigation dating back to July, which is…insane, because that is so trivially easy to disprove that they’d never lie about it. And also there’s not any logical way to produce evidence you’d accept of this, because if you assume the writers are allowed to lie in the pages of the New Yorker, any confirmation they post would be a lie.

                                                      I assume you are now retracting that claim of possible lying by Farrow and Mayers? That you admit they actually did start the investigation in July, based on people talking about rumors on Yale alumni mailing lists, as they said?

                                                      Which means these rumors from Yale alumni _were_ out there before Ford’s accusation.

                                                      Thus my original point stands. That those ‘liars’ at Yale must be _really lucky guessers_ in picking the correct sort of misbehavior to make up a rumor of Kavanaugh about.

                                                      Or they simply aren’t lying, and that really was a rumor back at Yale. 35 years ago.

                                                      Or it could be irrelevant if they’ve got thousands of rumors and they’re connecting ones who accidentally match on any point when they really should match on them all, etc.

                                                      I’m sure there are thousands of rumors people heard at Yale. But the rumor of _wrongdoing_ by Kavanaugh at Yale that Yale alumni seem to remember all concern the same event.

                                                      We can tell because the New York Times also approached Ramirez, because of the exact same rumors, which rather indicates, even if there were other rumors about him, the rumor that involved _her_ were one of the more serious rumors of wrongdoing.

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                                                      • My original point was that, those supposed lies somehow magically matched the exact sort of misbehavior that Kavanaugh is being accused of by Ford, which seems _wildly_ improbable.

                                                        You’re making vast assumptions you don’t realize you’re making on how the data was generated, sorted, processed, and even what data exists.

                                                        1) The people they’re talking to could be wrong or lying or seeing what they want to.

                                                        2) Your reporters could be cherry picking data, either 10 rumors selected out of a thousand or simply piecing together otherwise unrelated rumors.

                                                        There were dozens of lies his classmates could have told about him

                                                        Could have? How do we know they didn’t?

                                                        And you then tried to demand the _journalists_ produce evidence of this investigation dating back to July,

                                                        No, I’m insisting the Journalists produce evidence that the rumors date back to July, as opposed to me telling them “I heard back in July”. We are deep in the thickets of “A told B who told a reporter”.

                                                        We’re also operating in the context of deliberate misinformation on a hot topic as well as the failings of human memory. Timelines of claims are seriously important, need to be verified, and there’s a ton of room for data to be retroactively created given human nature and people seeing what they want to.

                                                        Some people look at a collection of data and see a human face, others just a cloud. Without the original data it’s impossible to say which is more appropriate.

                                                        I’m sure there are thousands of rumors people heard at Yale. But the rumor of _wrongdoing_ by Kavanaugh at Yale that Yale alumni seem to remember all concern the same event.

                                                        You’re using your conclusion as evidence of your conclusion.

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                                                        • No, I’m insisting the Journalists produce evidence that the rumors date back to July, as opposed to me telling them “I heard back in July”. We are deep in the thickets of “A told B who told a reporter”.

                                                          I’m not really sure how to explain to you that time is linear, and that as the journalists were investigating the rumors _in July_, as has been repeatedly stated by them, that they must have _known_, in July, of the existence of the rumors.

                                                          This conversation is getting _really stupid_, Dark. You don’t seem to understand the basic timeline of what happened: Yale alumni started talking about alleged rumors involving Kavanaugh exposing himself to Ramirez back in July, and Farrow and Mayers (And the New York Times and many other publications!) almost _immediately_ heard about these and approached Ramirez fairly soon after. As she refused to confirm it happened, none of them ran the story. She recently did confirm it to Farrow and Mayers, and they did. This rumor was floating around in multiple newsrooms for _months_, it just couldn’t be confirmed.

                                                          Literally _none of that is under dispute_ in any manner at all. None. Whatsoever. That is the sequence of events that happened. I’m not going to debate it anymore unless you can produce a _single current article_ that disputes it.

                                                          You can argue the rumors were lies back in school (Which is entirely possible), you can argue the rumors were invented in July (Which is less possible, but okay), but you _can’t_ argue the rumors showed up after Ford allegations became public. (Well, not without a conspiracy involving multiple publications and blatant lying on the part of journalists about their own behavior.)

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                  • And when you get right down to it, there are other arguments to take her claim seriously, like the relative implausibility of her lying.

                    Why? Not being flip, but really, why? I agreed with you at one point but now it seems pretty clear for me that she’s lying.

                    Basically, since her name surfaced on Sunday, nobody on her behalf has been able to substantiate a connection of any sort between Kavanaugh and Ford.

                    There’s no circumstantial foundation for this accusation, just ideologically motivated inflammatory politically-convenient conclusions. She’s clearly trying to tell a story that can’t be falsified, and refuse to meaningfully elaborate on it. Doesn’t that bother you at all?

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                    • Does it bother me as a reason to spike Kavanaugh in and of itself?

                      Let’s just say I can see why it would bother some people who aren’t me, and it may be that after the testimony is heard and the dust has settled it may not amount to a reason to vote against Kavanaugh.

                      Does it make me think that there’s a deliberate fabrication involved?

                      Absolutely not.

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  8. from the WaPo:

    Kavanaugh and his allies have privately discussed mounting a defense that would not question whether an incident involving Ford happened, but instead would raise doubts that the attacker was Kavanaugh, The Post reported Thursday.

    The man has some credibility issues here. Once again, this man is standing for a job interview, not a court trial.
    The burden of proof is on him to persuade us of his fitness and character for this office.

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    • The burden of proof is on him to persuade us of his fitness and character for this office.

      What does that mean in practice? He fails the “gut check” because he’s a conservative and did so before the accusation. The accusation itself is non-factual.

      So what exactly is he supposed to do at this point that would meet your approval?

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      • We, as citizens are measuring this man’s character and temperament to decide if we are comfortable giving him an immense amount of power, in a job where his opinion and wisdom is an integral criteria.

        So we are justified in reviewing his life choices, his circle of friends, and how he has conducted himself.

        Everything we are seeing reflects a man who hasn’t grown much past that callow frat boy.

        Also as citizens we should take stock of what is driving this and what this portends for whether the court will be credible on issues of justice.

        Look at the swamp this man is springing from- the fact that within minutes of the White House learning Ms. Ford’s name, Ed Whelan was already peering at her LinkedIn page and constructing his bizarre alibi in collusion with political operators. That they tacitly acknowledge Kavanaugh might be guilty but insist that it wasn’t so bad.

        These are the sort of people we should entrust to deliver justice at the highest level?? How can the highest court in the land have even a shred of credibility if this man sits on it?

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        • So we are justified in reviewing his life choices, his circle of friends, and how he has conducted himself.

          Unless you can point to others on Trump’s list who would pass, this translates readily into “He’s a Conservative.”

          Look at the swamp this man is springing from

          This could be applied to anyone Trump nominates.

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          • I am reminded of the time when my brother in law was getting a security clearance sufficient to allow him, as a civilian, into the command and control bunkers in West Germany to do software installation. Among other things, the FBI descended on his small Nebraska hometown and interviewed people about his character and activities all the way back through high school. He got a phone call from his brother that was like, “What did you do? The FBI is here talking to your teachers, your old girlfriends, everybody.”

            Should SCOTUS nominees be put through that same sort of background check?

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              • This link from this morning’s Sunday Brunch is instructive. How much money is involved? How successful is the coach? Unstated is the question, “Will high-caliber athletes stay away because of this?”

                A local soccer club will make their decision on the same criteria, but from a very different situation. A half-billion dollar settlement pool seems to be an inconvenience for MSU; if making the hire means the local club can’t get liability insurance, they’re out of business*. I haven’t read anything suggesting that the cases are affecting the Big Ten schools’ recruiting efforts (Penn State is in the national title hunt despite Sandusky/Paterno); a relatively small group of local parents keeping their daughters out puts the club out of business. Winning a local league championship is fun; winning Big 10 or national titles is a rather large amount of money.

                McConnell is balancing things even harder to estimate: keeping Trump happy, keeping enough voters in the right places happy for the next 45 days, getting a conservative justice on the Supreme Court by the end of December. If I were in his shoes, I’d be inclined to be hoping that Collins, Flake, and Murkowski would just say, “Nope, not going to vote for Kavanaugh.” Kill the nomination, approve someone else.

                * I spent most of the last four years on the executive committee for my state’s division of USA Fencing (the sanctioning body for US fencing under the international FIE and the Olympics structure). Over that four years there have been very large changes in screening for people who deal with athletes, and under-age athletes in particular. Some of it is driven by concern for the athletes; IMO, more of it has been driven by the liability insurance companies.

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                • When my kids were in Little League, my volunteer job was to schedule umpires, who were mostly kids. This involved creating a spreadsheet of assignments, and occasionally, when one cancelled at the last minute, calling around to get a replacement.

                  Which counted as a “child contact: position, so I had to agree to a background check. Though I didn’t have to pee in a cup.

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                  • When USA Fencing started requiring background checks and training there was a lot of confusion about which people were covered. Especially when it came to parent volunteers, who do a lot of grunt work to make tournaments at smaller clubs go smoothly.

                    Weird things happen. I was filling in as an armorer (the person who tests and repairs equipment at a tournament). For electric scoring, foil fencers wear a tight conductive vest that covers their torso and crotch. A woman I knew showed up between bouts, stuck her chest out, and said, “Mike, the referee thinks there’s a dead spot here. Could you test it, please?” Testing involves stretching the material with your hand and running a probe over it. My expression must have been interesting. Before I could say anything, she started taking the vest off and said, “Yeah, yeah, but it’s not like you could actually grope me through the vest, the jacket under it, and the hard plastic breast protector and t-shirt under that.”

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      • So what exactly is he supposed to do at this point that would meet your approval?

        Nothing Kav *can* do at this point. He lied to congress in ’06, under oath, to gain his current position as judge, and what he lied about is just as important as the fact that he did: he lied about his role in the Pickering nomination and about stolen Dem emails. He’s a political operative with a law degree and was rewarded with his current appointment to a judgeship, one he received because he effectively lied under oath.

        The question isn’t whether liberals can or will accept Kav, but why Trump picked him in the first place. McConnell, for example, knew that Kav had skeletons enough to sink the nom and expressed that view publicly and to the WH.

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        • He lied to congress in ’06, under oath… his role in the Pickering nomination

          This was not one of the judicial nominees that I was primarily handling,” he testified in 2006.” (NYT, 2018-08-16)

          Kavanaugh helped work on a binder of documents about the judge… drafted a letter to a senator about him; and handled a draft opinion article supporting his confirmation…

          I can’t tell from this whether the first statement disagrees with the second, i.e. whether he was primary or not. For example a few years ago I created 200(ish) pages of a document we submitted. That sounds like a lot but the doc was more than 2000 pages long.

          Worse, let’s quote the NYT again: Many of the emails showing glimpses of Judge Kavanaugh’s involvement with the Pickering nomination were minor, such as circulating articles or remarks by public officials related to him.

          This doesn’t sound like a proven lie about him clearly being Primary, it seems more like spin.

          …about stolen Dem emails…

          Afaitc, Kavanaugh is being blamed for not speculating on the source of someone else’s information and this entire line of questioning seems to assume the only possible answer was it must have come from stolen emails.

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          • This doesn’t sound like a proven lie about him clearly being Primary, it seems more like spin.

            And the question is thus: Is it appropriate for people who spin the truth to be on the Supreme Court.

            Kavanaugh did not, in any way, commit perjury there. He did, however, extremely minimize his involvement in something. What’s more, he did it in regard to a question he was not even asked…he was asked if he knew about Pickering inappropriate behavior during the nomination (Judge Pickering contacted lawyers, including those with cases before his court, and asked them to write letters of support), and Kavanaugh said no, he hadn’t known (And there’s no indication Kavanaugh did know.), and that…honestly was enough to say. That was fine.

            Or he could have explained the actual truth, where he was not the primary but had done some work on it, perhaps given an estimate of how much work he did either compared to others working on Pickering, or his work on others, or…something.

            Instead, he threw in a misleading statement where be basically tried to imply he didn’t do anything at all with the nomination.

            This is not a court case, where Kavanaugh would, indeed, be entirely in the clear as a witness. This is assessing his qualities as a _judge_. In fact, we’re talking about his qualities as one of the _highest_ judges in the land. ‘Not technically lying’ is a little too low a bar for that.

            In addition to that…the fact the emails revealing this ‘probably not technically a lie’ came out _after_ the confirmation process basically prove what everyone was saying: This nomination was being slammed forward extremely quickly and relevant documents were not being produced. Even if this is excusable behavior for Kavanaugh, the Judiciary deserves a chance to _question him over it_.

            The speed of this process is completely absurd, and I know it’s sad and scary that the Republicans might lose the Senate or something this election, and not get Kavanaugh. But, we had an eight-person Supreme Court for over 400 days due to the exact same people pushing this thing forward, and we somehow managed to survive.

            Afaitc, Kavanaugh is being blamed for not speculating on the source of someone else’s information and this entire line of questioning seems to assume the only possible answer was it must have come from stolen emails.

            That, OTOH…if Kavanaugh couldn’t figure out that those emails were the stolen emails everyone was talking about, he is frankly too stupid to be a Supreme Court judge. They included strategies to get judges past the Republicans.

            It’s…perhaps, mybe, hypothetically reasonable for him to have not realized they were stolen when he _first_ got them. He might think perhaps they had been gotten in some ethical way.

            But at the point he was asked by the Senate, everyone knew there were stolen documents. There was a big scandal about that. And he somehow never made the connection that the documents he had read that included internal Democratic strategies might be the _stolen_ documents of internal Democratic strategies everyone was talking about, and that had been inappropriately passed around by people he commonly dealt with. No one can be that stupid.

            And note the word ‘might’. In a court of law, he might actually get away with that. He didn’t know _for sure_ they were stolen, no one literally told him, so it’s not perjury. Fine.

            But the Senate confirmation process is not a court of law. Misleading-but-technically-true answers might not result in jail time, but they shouldn’t result in _confirmation_.

            He could have said ‘I read some documents about internal Democratic strategies that might or might not have been those documents, you can see them if you want. If they were the stolen documents, I didn’t know they were stolen at the time.’ But instead he decided to mislead.

            He has a pretty big record of misleading the Senate at this point.

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            • Or he could have explained the actual truth, where he was not the primary but had done some work on it, perhaps given an estimate of how much work he did either compared to others working on Pickering, or his work on others, or…something.

              …This is assessing his qualities as a _judge_. In fact, we’re talking about his qualities as one of the _highest_ judges in the land. ‘Not technically lying’ is a little too low a bar for that.

              Is there any indication that the Dems are interested in the truth? Or even qualities? Anything that they could learn which would get them to vote for him? My impression is the answer is “no”, they were against him before he talked to them “because Trump/Garland”.

              We’re deep into “political theater”, and as far as I can tell there are no actual questions about his fitness which aren’t actually problems with his politics. It’s a little weird that all the examples which are supposedly making him unfit to be a judge are not from his many years of being a judge.

              if Kavanaugh couldn’t figure out that those emails were the stolen emails everyone was talking about, he is frankly too stupid to be a Supreme Court judge.

              My impression from wiki was he never saw emails (or at least not the original stolen ones). The guy who stole them suggested scary good strategies, questions, & preparation. At some point maybe you’d think he’s got inside information, but “emails” much less “stolen emails” aren’t the obvious answer.

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    • One morning Mr. K heard that he had committed a crime and that he would be informed of the specific charges in time, but in the meantime he should know he is being watched and his failure to profess his innocence earlier will be accounted against him.

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      • Statements like this concoct a bizarre scenario where Mr. K is just sitting at home minding his business when suddenly we all burst in and drag him off to jail.

        Kavanaugh on his own volition came to us and, quite literally, asked the American citizens to evaluate his character and discernment to be entrusted with life or death power over us.

        The very worst case scenario here is where Mr. K goes back to doing what he was doing.

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  9. In another weird twist that makes this story very timely, Kavanaugh released his calendars from high school [1] in an attempt to show that a party like the one Ford described never happened.

    The weaknesses of this strategy are evident, but they might not be serious in a future world of shared Google calendars and the like.

    [1] He kept his calendars from high school, or his parents did, I guess.

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  10. The weaknesses of this strategy are evident

    What other strategy is stronger? What would you do if you were in his situation, assuming you were innocent (or genuinely believed you were)? How can he prove he didn’t do what he’s been accused of, 30 years ago, on an unspecified day at an unspecified location?

    Edit: was supposed to be a response to .

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    • It’s difficult!

      The weakness in the strategy is that why would high school keggers be in a high school student’s calendars in the first place? It doesn’t actually help, unless he had very strange calendaring habits and contemporaneously memorialized his underage beer bashes.

      And I suppose maybe I’m wrong and he actually did that and it’s a better strategy than I would ever have expected. It wouldn’t be any stranger than basing an oppo hit on a random middle school teacher on Zillow listings.

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      • The strength of the strategy is that it is congruent with the statement from the girl at the alleged party with Ford (yeah, it was four boys but now it’s three boys and a girl). She is good friends with Ford, and said she has no idea what Ford is talking about, she never went to such a party, and she didn’t know Kavanaugh, and I think she said she’d never met him, which is plausible given that they didn’t go to the same school.

        With just that statement, Ford’s claim would be thrown out of any court in the United States. She can’t remember the place or the year, and even her own witness, a long-time friend of hers, deny that the event could have possibly taken place, as does everyone else she’s named, and their friends and acquaintences.

        However, this indicates that Ford doesn’t know her claim is false. If she was knowingly lying, she would’ve coordinated her story with her close friend, or she wouldn’t have named her friend as one of the witnesses. She would’ve only done that if she really thought her friend was there, which isn’t true because her friend says she was never at such a party.

        According to the psychological literature, about 70% of suppressed memories are false. They’re bleed-over from our dream states. That’s what Ford is relating. Kavanaugh was a team captain at the boy’s school, a major player who would be known to her, even though she wasn’t known to him. The house is likely one she’d partied in, near the golf course. She can’t remember the location, and probably can’t remember the exact layout, and I’ll bet she can’t remember any of the contents of the closet she hid in, because in dreams those details are filled in or irrelevant. The hand over the mouth is similar to an alien probe in lucid dreaming. Her nose was probably stuffed up while she slept, and she’d close her mouth, and her mind filled the rest in.

        She will not remember how she got to the party, how she got out of the closet, or how she got home. That’s how dreams work.

        I said the hysteria was like “The Crucible”. Well Kavanaugh is pretty obviously an incubus, and the Democrats are conducting a literal witch hunt for an agent of Satan. This demeans us all.

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