50 thoughts on “News/Politics 9-19-18

  1. Huh.


    “Voters elected political newcomer Pete Flores to the Texas Senate on Tuesday, flipping a Democratic district red for the first time in 139 years and bolstering Republicans’ supermajority in the chamber ahead of the November elections.

    A retired game warden, Flores defeated former state and U.S. Rep. Pete Gallego for the Senate District 19 seat after receiving backing from some of the state’s most prominent politicians, including Gov. Greg Abbott, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and U.S. Sens John Cornyn and Ted Cruz.”


  2. Merkel is gonna fire her Intel Chief for contradicting her lies. Can’t have that.


    “Chancellor Angela Merkel is expected to fire Germany’s intelligence chief Hans-Georg Maassen after he refuted her claims of right-wing “mobs” chasing migrants during the late August demonstrations in the eastern German city of Chemnitz, German newspaper Die Welt reported.

    “We have video recordings of [people] hunting down others, of unruly assemblies, and hate in the streets, and that has nothing to do with our constitutional state,” Chancellor Merkel said last month after residents in the eastern German city took to the streets in response the reported killing of a 35-year-old German by a group of migrants.

    The head of Germany’s domestic intelligence agency, BfV, challenged the narrative peddled by the mainstream German politicians and media that talked of far-right German “mobs” carrying out a “pogrom” and “witch hunt” against foreigners. “I share the skepticism towards media reports of right-wing extremists chasing down [foreigners] in Chemnitz,” Maassen said.

    After the intelligence chief’s statement, Chancellor Merkel doubled down on her claims, describing the street protest in the city of Chemnitz as violent right-wing mobs chasing foreigners.

    The intelligence chief’s assessment was backed by Michael Kretschmer, a senior member of Chancellor Merkel’s CDU party and the premier of Saxony state, where Chemnitz is located. “One thing is clear. There was no mob, there was no hunt and there was no pogrom in Chemnitz,” he said.

    Germany’s Die Welt reported the impending ouster of the country’s intelligence chief:

    Angela Merkel has backed the position taken by the Social Democrats [German Chancellor’s left-wing coalition partner]. The Chancellor has decided to relieve Hans-Georg Maaßen, the President of the Office for the Protection of the Constitution [domestic intelligence agency], of his duties. Die Welt learned it from sources within the [ruling] coalition. (Translation by the author)

    The media reporting on the protests in Chemnitz toed the official line pushed by Merkel. “The violence in Chemnitz continues to send shock waves through Germany and beyond after a German man was killed on Sunday and a mob went on the rampage threatening people of color,” wrote the German business daily Handelsblatt.

    “‘Pogrom mood’ sweeps Germany over migrants,” said the headline in the UK-based newspaper The Times. “The ugly scenes of mostly white men hurling abuse at people they deemed to be foreigners have deeply alarmed Germany,” British newspaper The Guardian commented.

    Intelligence chief Maassen’s refusal to back the official narrative and portray the demonstrations against government’s immigration policy as violent racist mobs attracted sharp criticism from the mainstream German politicians and media, with leading members of Merkel’s government calling for his ouster. German media outlets ran a string of negative stories against the spy chief, at one point even accusing him of passing on sensitive intelligence to the right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) party.”


  3. Let the exposing and de-classifications begin……..

    And cue the exploding heads, they’re up next. 🙂


    “President Trump in an exclusive interview with Hill.TV said Tuesday he ordered the release of classified documents in the Russia collusion case to show the public the FBI probe started as a “hoax,” and that exposing it could become one of the “crowning achievements” of his presidency.

    “What we’ve done is a great service to the country, really,” Trump said in a 45-minute, wide-ranging interview in the Oval Office.

    “I hope to be able to call this, along with tax cuts and regulation and all the things I’ve done… in its own way this might be the most important thing because this was corrupt,” he said.”


  4. Her response tells you all you need to know. She’s being given an opportunity to be heard, but she refuses because all they really seek is to delay.Also, she and her attorney know full well the FBI doesn’t handle stuff like this, and that her complete lack of details would make it impossible to do so anyway. If she doesn’t show on Monday, hold the vote next week.


    Liked by 1 person

  5. ———-


  6. One other thing about the current Kavanaugh allegations: Trump has been amazingly rational, controlled and disciplined in his comments.


  7. Another person who has been quiet about Kavanaugh/Ford until more facts are known is Ben Sasse. That is just one small reason why Sasse (and not Flake or Kasich) is the best conservative candidate for 2020.


  8. I’m not planning to vote for any never-Trumper. Not in 2020. Not in 2024. In fact, other than to support Trump’s next election and his 2022 mid-terms, I’m not even thinking of voting again at all. So ya’ll can raise the Gipper from hisgrave and prop him up in a chair and pay him homage like Jeremey Bentham, and vote for his third term if you like. He would make as fine a puppet as any, I think. :–)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Debra, We had already written you off. There is no way we could appeal to you because you are not an economic conservative. To win, Sasse has to appeal to young taxpayers, immigrant taxpayers and moderate Democrat taxpayers who don’t like socialism or tariffs. A third party effort would be best. This would allow Trump and a socialist Democrat to split the non-taxpayer vote.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Face. Palm.

    It’s probably best that they don’t anyway.


    ““Vote or die.” Unless, it’s too hard to find a stamp.

    A Fairfax County focus group this summer found many college students who have gotten an absentee ballot simply fail to send it back because a U.S. Postal Service stamp seems to be a foreign concept to them.

    “One thing that came up, which I had heard from my own kids but I thought they were just nerdy, was that the students will go through the process of applying for a mail-in absentee ballot, they will fill out the ballot, and then, they don’t know where to get stamps,” Lisa Connors with the Fairfax County Office of Public Affairs said.

    “That seems to be like a hump that they can’t get across.”

    The focus group included college interns from across numerous county departments.
    “They all agreed that they knew lots of people who did not send in their ballots because it was too much of a hassle or they didn’t know where to get a stamp,” Connors said.

    “Across the board, they were all nodding and had a very spirited conversation about ‘Oh yeah, I know so many people who didn’t send theirs in because they didn’t have a stamp.’”

    They aren’t smart enough to vote, or attend college.


  11. Show up, or shut up. Simple.

    And if she doesn’t, schedule and hold the vote. No more delays.


    “Ford wanted a hearing and she got one. I guess she wasn’t expecting the Republicans to be so accommodating? The Republicans said she could testify in public and even offered to have a third party to the questioning. They also said she didn’t have to sit anywhere near Kavanaugh.

    They tried to use Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill as an excuse. From Fox News:

    The lawyers, Debra Katz and Banks, said historical precedent supported the delay, echoing comments by Feinstein, who on Tuesday wrote on Twitter that the FBI had also “investigated Anita Hill’s allegations of sexual harassment against Clarence Thomas,” the Supreme Court justice.

    However, Thomas was accused of sexually harassing Hill while both worked at federal agencies, in potential violation of federal law; Ford has accused Kavanaugh of sexual harassment that would fall well outside of any applicable federal or state statute of limitations because the alleged episode occured decades ago.

    A law enforcement agent told Fox News that “[I]t’s totally inappropriate for someone to demand we use law enforcement resources to investigate a 35-year-old allegation when she won’t go under oath and can’t remember key details including when or where it happened.”

    Plus it’s not a federal crime.”


    Liked by 1 person

  12. On Facebook yesterday, I read an interesting debate over the issue of this allegation against Kavanaugh. Before I write the rest of this, though, I want to make it clear that I am hoping that this turns out to be false, and I fully understand the many points being made against Dr. Ford’s credibility.

    Having said that, here are a couple points that were made that are worth considering. One is that she named Kavanaugh as her abuser six years ago, before there was a reason to make something up to stop him from being on the Supreme Court.

    The other thing is that she named a third party, one who would almost certainly deny her story. That doesn’t make sense to do that if you are lying.

    The fact the she has been irrational in many ways does not negate the possibility that her story may be true.

    This Washington Post article has the insights of a former sex-crimes prosecutor. (The fact that Dr. Ford can’t remember a lot of details seems to be expected in many cases.)


    Liked by 1 person

  13. The longer this goes on, the more dubious I am of Ford’s high school party claims.

    It’s something that likely cannot be proven nor disproven at this late date anyway, of course, which is pretty unfair to the accused.

    And the political timing and now her wanting the FBI to “investigate” before she will testify, creating yet more delays? It’s beginning to make it sound even more suspect to me, more like an orchestrated effort to take out the nominee at all costs.

    Her story “may be true” ? — and it may not (more likely in my mind) be true. Where does that even leave us? And how unfair to Kavanaugh, whose life otherwise appears to be pretty squeaky clean. It would be a teen-age, singular aberration in behavior, at worst. Even if one assumes it’s true (which is more and more looking to be a stretch), is it enough to take him out? I’m not entirely sure it is.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. It seems that Dianne Feinstein is to blame for the timing of this. Dr. Ford is either being manipulated, or – and this seems likely – is going along with it due to her animosity towards conservatives in general and Kavanaugh in particular. But even so, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it didn’t happen. Victims are not always likable and believable.

    I am mentioning these things not to say I fully believe her story, but to say that they are matters that need to be looked at. It really does seem odd, and counter-productive, to mention another person being in the room, when that person is going to deny it ever happened.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Kizzie,

    “Having said that, here are a couple points that were made that are worth considering. One is that she named Kavanaugh as her abuser six years ago, before there was a reason to make something up to stop him from being on the Supreme Court.”

    I’m sorry, but that is flat out false. She did not name him to her therapist and husband, that’s demonstrable by the selective medical records she released.

    More on that here.


    “When The Washington Post broke the story that Christine Blasey Ford was the person who accused Supreme Court nominee of assault dating back to high school, there were several aspects of the WaPo story that struck me as particularly strange.

    First, there was a suggestion that this is a repressed and recovered memory case:

    “Years later, after going through psychotherapy, Ford said, she came to understand the incident as a trauma with lasting impact on her life.”

    If this is a case of repressed memory, then it changes everything. It’s a convenient explanation for why Ford said nothing to anyone for 30 years despite herself being a clinical psychologist. Repressed and recovered memory, however, is of questionable veracity and admissibility in court.

    Second, that repressed memory allegedly was recovered in 2012 during couples’ therapy,

    Ford said she told no one of the incident in any detail until 2012, when she was in couples therapy with her husband.

    Why in couples therapy, not in individual therapy? That seems like an odd time to recover memory, particularly for a clinical psychologist who likely underwent or practiced various forms of psychological therapy during her long career. This suggests that perhaps there was some marital problem which implicated an earlier trauma, if this story is true, or invented an earlier trauma as an excuse, if the story is not true.

    Third, Ford volunteered the therapist’s notes to WaPo, but only selective portions chosen by Ford:

    The therapist’s notes, portions of which were provided by Ford and reviewed by The Washington Post, do not mention Kavanaugh’s name but say she reported that she was attacked by students “from an elitist boys’ school” who went on to become “highly respected and high-ranking members of society in Washington.” The notes say four boys were involved, a discrepancy Ford says was an error on the therapist’s part. Ford said there were four boys at the party but only two in the room.”


  16. “The other thing is that she named a third party, one who would almost certainly deny her story. That doesn’t make sense to do that if you are lying.”

    A third party who wants nothing to do with it, says it’s bogus, and who has no reason to lie because he isn’t implicated in anything untoward, she even gives him credit for jumping on them and helping her flee during the alleged episode. He’d have no reason to lie.


  17. She wants the FBI to investigate something that didn’t happen by someone she doesn’t know, a long time ago. There is a witness who didn’t see anything.
    You guys work on until after the election.
    We’ll take it from there.

    Liked by 1 person

  18. 🙂

    Kavanaugh landed himself a good one. 🙂


  19. Hillary weighs in, and then gets schooled by one of the many women Bill victimized.


    “On MSNBC Tuesday, Hillary Clinton weighed in on the sexual assault accusation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh that allegedly occurred 35 years ago when he was in high school, arguing that “we should give the benefit of the doubt to the court and the country” rather than continuing with the confirmation process as scheduled. Her comments were met with fierce backlash from critics, including the woman whose accusation of rape against Clinton’s husband was notoriously not given “the benefit of the doubt” by Democrats.”


    Liked by 1 person

  20. Gee, it’s almost like they’re trying to hide something…. again.

    Let the sun shine in! 🙂


    “Leading congressional Democrats are looking to stall the process to release documents related to the Russia investigation, which President Donald Trump ordered declassified on Monday.

    Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff and Sens. Chuck Schumer and Mark Warner, sent a letter Tuesday asking Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, FBI Director Christopher Wray and Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats to provide an “immediate briefing” to the Gang of Eight before declassifying and releasing the documents.

    The four Democrats expressed “profound alarm” at Trump’s order to declassify the records. Trump ordered the Justice Department and Office of the Director of National Intelligence to begin the process to declassify 21 pages from a June 2017 Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) application taken out against former Trump campaign adviser Carter Page.

    Trump also ordered the declassification of FBI notes from interviews used in connection with the Page FISAs as well as notes from interviews with Bruce Ohr, the Justice Department official who met numerous times with Christopher Steele, the author of the anti-Trump dossier.”

    Now why would showing the public the truth of the matter cause them “profound alarm”?


  21. And another strike against her claims.


    “In a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, another former classmate of Brett Kavanaugh’s denies attending a party like the one described in the allegation made by Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused the Supreme Court nominee of sexually assaulting her three decades ago when they were teenagers.

    Patrick J. Smyth attended Georgetown Prep — an all-boys school in North Bethesda, Maryland — alongside Kavanaugh. Both men graduated in 1983. Smyth signed a letter this summer, before the allegations against Kavanaugh were made public, testifying that Kavanaugh “is singularly qualified to be an Associate Justice on the U.S. Supreme Court,” along with dozen other of the school’s alumni.

    Eric Bruce, who is representing Smyth, authored a letter to Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the committee. CNN has obtained a copy of the letter, which includes a quote from Smyth denying seeing any “improper conduct” from Kavanaugh.

    “I understand that I have been identified by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford as the person she remembers as ‘PJ’ who supposedly was present at the party she described in her statements to the Washington Post,” Smyth says in his statement to the Senate Judiciary Committee. “I am issuing this statement today to make it clear to all involved that I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.”

    “Personally speaking, I have known Brett Kavanaugh since high school and I know him to be a person of great integrity, a great friend, and I have never witnessed any improper conduct by Brett Kavanaugh towards women. To safeguard my own privacy and anonymity, I respectfully request that the Committee accept this statement in response to any inquiry the Committee may have.””


  22. Well that didn’t take long. The new 2nd video just came out and the DoJ is already looking into it. Good.


    “DOJ: “These allegations are deeply concerning…referred to Inspector General.”

    Leaks at Department of Health and Human Services: “It’s kind of like the Nixon, ‘deep throat’ type of thing.”

    Department of Justice Paralegal Allison Hrabar: “what’s kind of lucky is at the DOJ, we can’t really get fired.”

    Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) Actively Resisting Inside Government: “We have a member who works for the people who distribute food stamps…they’re slowing down what they do.”

    Apparent Abuse of DOJ Resources for DSA: “she uses it probably on her work computer… that’s the kind of thing that you would get fired for if people knew about it.”

    Targets Political Enemies: “And so we ran the license plate… we cannot do it officially”


  23. Oh my….

    “Today’s video features Department of Justice paralegal Allison Hrabar reportedly using government-owned software and computers to push a socialist agenda. Also featured is Jessica Schubel, the former Chief of Staff for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services during the last Obama administration.

    Both Schubel and Hrabar make admissions revealing that federal employees appear to be using their positions inside our government to resist or slow the Trump administration’s policies. It appears some laws have been broken in the process.

    As a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (Metro DC DSA), Hrabar was seen chasing Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielson from a DC-area restaurant. Metro DC DSA is a political group that tries to advance socialist causes in the Metropolitan DC area.

    In the recording, Schubel admits that “…there’s like a little resistance movement” inside of the federal government. She also tells our undercover journalist that her friends at the Department of Health and Human Services “…give [her] information” before it is officially released:

    PV Journalist: “…she mailed it to you in like physical snail mail like post office and then you like got it. That’s like awesome.”

    Schubel: “Yeah. It’s kind of like the Nixon, “deep throat” type of thing.”

    Schubel explains the exact process of the “illegal” transaction:

    PV Journalist: ” So, your friend mailed you confidential government information that is illegal to mail…”

    Schubel: “Right.”

    PV Journalist: “And then you were able to write about that…”

    Schubel: “Right.”

    PV Journalist: “Is it illegal to receive it?”

    Schubel: “Probably.”

    Schubel revealed that some of the material her associates secretly sent her were confidential, and allowed Schubel to prepare responses to government initiatives not yet announced:”


  24. So she hadn’t named Kavanaugh back then? That was what I read first, but then saw a reference to her actually naming him. From what I read about Judge, the other guy supposedly in the room, it didn’t sound like he was rescuing her, but fooling around by piling on. His action could be understood either way.


  25. DJ – Unfortunately, in this the era of #MeToo all allegations are going to be weighed pretty much equally. Well, except for those against Democrats and liberals. 😦

    I think the #MeToo movement started out as a positive thing, opening the door and letting the light in, and encouraging women who had hidden their victimization to finally come forward. But it has also brought out those who are using it as a form of vengeance, like a weapon.


  26. If he’s lying about it, that could be more problematic than the incident itself.

    But as for the incident (if it happened), I’m not sure it rises to the level of a shocking “assault” so much as it sounds like a bunch of drunk high schoolers messing around and being really obnoxious.

    Out of line? Of course. But barring a pattern of that kind of behavior occurring during the rest of the nominee’s life, it sounds more like a one-time stupid teen-age night a long time ago.

    Again, IF it happened, and so far there’s not enough here to convince me that it did.


  27. No reason at all. Move it along.


    “Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) is pressing forward with a hearing scheduled for Monday after a woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct called for the FBI to investigate her claims before she testifies.

    Grassley on Tuesday evening said there was “no reason” to delay the hearing. Republicans have invited both Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford, his accuser, to testify publicly.

    “Dr. Ford’s testimony would reflect her personal knowledge and memory of events. Nothing the FBI or any other investigator does would have any bearing on what Dr. Ford tells the committee, so there is no reason for any further delay,” Grassley said.

    He added that Ford’s claims that Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her when they were both in high school are “serious allegations and Dr. Ford deserves to be heard. … The invitation for Monday still stands.”

    Grassley’s statement comes hours after Ford’s lawyer released a letter calling for an FBI investigation into her allegation. Ford says that while at a party Kavanaugh pinned her down on a bed, groped her, tried to remove her clothes and covered her mouth when she tried to protest.

    “A full investigation by law enforcement officials will ensure that the crucial facts and witnesses in this matter are assessed in a non-partisan manner, and that the Committee is fully informed before conducting any hearing or making any decisions,” Debra Katz and Lisa Banks, attorneys for Ford, wrote in the letter to Grassley.

    But a government official told The Hill late last week that an investigation has not been opened into the allegations.

    A Justice Department (DOJ) spokeswoman added on Monday that the “allegation does not involve any potential federal crime.” ”

    Or state, or local, or any……


  28. Here’s a good news story. 🙂


    “Cajun Navy helps rescue more than 100 cats and dogs from flooded animal shelter in North Carolina as its roof threatened to collapse during Hurricane Florence

    The Carteret County Humane Society in New Port, N.C. flooded on Friday

    The animal shelter’s roof threatened to collapse with hundreds of animals inside

    Cajun Navy members rescued staffers and animals during Hurricane Florence

    More than 100 cats and dogs were rescued in trucks and taken to a temporary shelter at the North Carolina State Fairgrounds in Raleigh”

    Liked by 1 person

  29. DJ – I’m of two minds about the theoretical situation. On one hand, yeah, it sounds like a stupid teenager trying to get away with something. But from the point of view of the girl (again, I am treating this as a theoretical situation), being pinned on a bed, with a guy grinding against her and trying to get her clothes off would be quite traumatic, and could very well affect her for years to come.

    (I’m thinking that “theoretical” may not be the word I’m looking for, but I’m sure you know what I mean.)


  30. Hopefully such an experience would teach a teenager (male or female) the folly of attending keg parties or other social events that feature underage drinking.

    I’m reserving my sympathies for the general public who now has to endure yet another politicaly motivated prurient public discourse.


  31. Kizzie, it may have been traumatic (if it happened). But … Considering what it was, I suppose I’m missing the shock factor somewhat. Teenagers, heavy drinking, an incident that could have been worse? but really wasn’t.

    I understand now, however, that Kavanaugh is being regularly referred to as a rapist online.

    Debra, amen. His nomination is probably toast, either way.


  32. How low can the Democrats go? When they vote for a man who brags about walking in on naked teenage girls and groping women, they will have achieved a new low.

    Prager whines that Republicans are held to a higher standard yet Trump is still president and Franken resigned.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Anon is HRW.

    But I do think Prager makes a good point.
    Im fairly certain that Ford is telling the truth and Kavanugh did what she said. However, crimes committed as a child should not affect someone years later. Its why we don’t try children in adult courts nor do we sentence them the same and the records are expunged. I’m consistent but I wonder if Kavanugh and his supporters feel the same way about youth crime.


  34. However, Prager lost my support when he described how his wife was sexually assaulted at work and responded by saying no and employing strategies to avoid the molester. He called it empowering. I call it normalizing workplace harassment. Empowering would be to take the molester to court, labour board or the human rights board. By employing avoidance strategies instead, she turned the assaults into an appearance of a game for the perp. And if she won the “game”, he would prey on there women. This isn’t empowering this is passing the buck. I honestly don’t think Prager has a clue how traumatizing this can be for some women, he’s minimizing something that shouldn’t be minimized.


  35. Oops, I see dj’s linked tweet has the Prager piece. (Didn’t show up in a ‘find’–I guess tweet text isn’t visible to that)….

    Good grief, the Prager take is even worse than hwesseli depicts. Here’s an excerpt:

    When my wife was a waitress in her mid-teens, the manager of her restaurant grabbed her breasts and squeezed them on numerous occasions. She told him to buzz off, figured out how to avoid being in places where they were alone and continued going about her job. That’s empowerment.

    Mid-teens? Grabbing and squeezing breasts? Numerous occasions? Prager’s beyond tone deaf to downplay that kind of thing. I mean, mid-TEENS?

    Liked by 3 people

  36. DJ – In that comment, I wasn’t referring specifically to the allegation against Kavanaugh, but to a hypothetical situation similar to what has been alleged. A girl certainly would be traumatized by that. (“Hypothetical” was the word I meant to use, not “theoretical”.) But isn’t it awful that we live in a society in which a teenage boy getting drunk and doing something like that is “not surprising”?


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