Thursday, September 27, 2018


Can't Not Comment II

I actually had to work so I didn't watch or listen to the Senate hearings today but here are two things:

1) If [Ford] did what she said, she left her best friend alone in a house full of boys, two of whom were drunk and sexually aggressive, without warning her of the danger or saying, let's go home? Are you kidding me? What girl would do that to her best pal?
And the friend never asked, "What happened to you yesterday at the party? Why did you disappear?"

Mollie Hemingway's lawyer friend


2) Isn't one of the major tenants of modern psychology that you need to talk about a traumatic event in order not to let it fester mentally and cause lifelong problems? Why, yes, I believe it is. But psychologist Ford after years of psychological studies decided not to do that, for 30 plus years. Right.


I know who I believe.


The Dems did not cover themselves in glory, for example:

Faced with K's honest & expressed outrage at what he and his family have had to endure (unnecessarily had this issue been handled in closed committee session from the onset), and K's fortuitously-kept calendar-diaries(!), all the Dems could do was try to exaggerate his (beer) drinking to try to obtain a confession of blackout drunkenness, and to press him to request the WH to open an FBI investigation that would question the other witnesses. Neither of which gained traction, but which blatantly demonstrated the Dems' empty quiver.

My impression of Ford was of a horribly naive-to-the-point-of-stupid woman who may have experienced some kind of attack in her youth, but whose vague recollections were even more in doubt when she couldn't remember when or in what order more recent events happened. Like confusion about whether she took the polygraph on the day of, or the day after her g'mother's funeral.... Or whether or not, or when, she gave her therapist's notes to the WaPo. Or how her legal expenses were to be paid, and by whom.

(And, I found it surprising that a PhD psychologist would not know the meaning of "exculpatory.")

If you have time, watch some of the highlights of her testimony & see what you think.

PS: I should say as well that I thought K would be far more articulate & eloquent than he was, but then I don't do well speaking extemporaneously either so I probably shouldn't criticize that. :-)
this is a better synopsis than mine:

...and Corker announced that he'll vote for.
I think you're pretty right on. There is something slightly off about that woman, from her speaking patterns to her terrible short term memory to her inability to remember details (and keep the ones she does remember straight through two repetitions). If I was groped and I thought I might get raped, I think I would remember when and where it happened. So, I'm the opposite of the guys saying she was credible and persuasive. I'm also against 36 year old tales of juvenile misdemeanors. I'm safe from those because I was always the perfect gentleman (Translation: I was an awkward geek who never go laid). So there's that.
I'm safe from those

Kavanaugh probably thought he was, too. :-(

Until the Dems saw that their "third way" of legislating* via 5 SCt. judges was in jeopardy. Then they cranked up the smear machine.

Did you know that her lawyer, Bromwich, is former FBI? (I did not.)
"Now the real reason for FBI insider Michael Bromwich to join the efforts on September 22nd surfaces. Bromwich, a former inspector general within the DOJ/FBI, is part of the corrupt FBI operational system we have seen surface over the past year. Bromwich represents fired Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe. The career operatives within the FBI have a risk from the ongoing internal investigations; and as an outcome, have a mutual interest in assisting Mr. Bromwith. A natural alignment."

The stench of rot is overwhelming.

* first is Congress, but they can't get any traction there for their policies;
second is a presidential "pen and phone" but they lost that on January 20, 2017.
Since you seem to be such a fan of armchair psychology:
Thanks, son, I'll take a look. Roctober is here but will it be as wild card or as division champs?

Read it. What a douche wrote this tripe. What's psychological about his "analysis"?

My point was that your condemnation of Ford amounted to "she didn't talk about it before, which is not psychologically healthy, she must be lying!" which is super insensitive, and also very clearly historically false. Women throughout history have refrained from telling their stories, for the simple reason that they're likely to go through the same shit that Ford is going through right now. Disbelieved, over analyzed by a bunch of self-stylized "experts", threatened with death!, etc..

But reading the highlighted Kavanaugh transcripts from that article (I admit to not watching it at all), he seems super evasive and full of shit. Who responds with simple questions of "did you drink in high school?" with "I went to Yale"??

Tell me where at any point in his analysis was he wrong? He seems pretty spot on to me. Kavanaugh is lying, under oath, about being a fucking angel in high school, and that alone regardless of the credibility of Ford's arguments should disqualify him from any sort of judicial career.

And his conclusions about it, that we shouldn't believe accusations just because they were made, but it's important to examine each individually to try to learn the truth, is what I'd been thinking about this case, without really knowing anything about it.
Fyi, there's an interesting discussion in comments at Volokh considering the relevance, accuracy, privacy issues, etc., as they might apply to examination of Ford's therapy documentation as an aid in assessing her credibility. I had wondered about whether she had opened up her therapy to further examination by using it as one basis for her allegations.

I wonder a bit when people accuse BK of being evasive, but gladly give credence to Ford's shadowy and vague memories, from which only her identification of him seems to be "100% certain." My interpretation of his testimony & manner is quite different [surprize, surprize!] :-)
He was asked multiple times about his high school drinking: the question was raised ad nauseum by various committee members, as well as having been initially acknowledged in his opening statement. (As with other inquiries that were repeated and repeated until the figurative horse was well-flayed.) I, too, would have, by that point, been tempted to respond in a snarky, sarcastic manner. As everyone takes pain to note, this was not a trial, but, had it been a trial, I believe that the appropriate objection might have been, "Asked and answered, your honor."

I may be wrong, but I don't see ""she didn't talk about it before, which is not psychologically healthy, she must be lying!" as what Roger was implying. However, given that she didn't talk about it before, it does seem politically opportunistic for her to raise it now* when there is a nominee to the Court who likely will change the balance to a more limited consideration of the constitutionality of issues, especially social issues, when she has a history of "social justice" associations and activities.

...just sayin'

*yes, she claims that she brought it up in her counseling therapy sessions, but we have only her word for that, she neglected to identify by name who the assaulter was, and she failed to take any further action at that time, legally or otherwise. I wonder if her therapist encouraged or discouraged, or ignored, doing so? The notes might reveal useful information....

It is all quite fascinating to follow. I remember thinking at the time of the Watergate hearings. If the outcome of this were not so consequential in the long term, it might even be entertaining.
I think we're interpreting things totally differently here. Again, I only have the articles written about the hearings to go off of, but it seems like even if he answered the beer drinking question ad nauseum, he still never actually admitted to anything more than having an occasional beer and only on the weekends. Those are both bald faced lies. As is everything he said about "Boff", "FFFF", "Devil's Triangle", "Renate Alumnus", etc. These are all transparent lies that anyone with any sense, and any dim recollection of what high school was like, can see through.

And the point of the article was that the way in which the two people answered to questioning was relevant. Kavanaugh was aggressive, evasive, and sleazy, while Ford was calm and answered things fairly directly, even admitting that she might have gotten things wrong about her original statement. This doesn't automatically mean that she's telling the truth, and it warrants further investigation, but Kavanaugh was clearly lying.

And this is what Roger wrote: "But psychologist Ford after years of psychological studies decided not to do that, for 30 plus years. Right. ... I know who I believe."
How else do you interpret that?
Sorry, don't believe he lied about high school. Are you going off the Atlantic article?
Andrew, thanks for your input - it makes for an interesting discussion! (And thoughtful, which is much appreciated in contrast to the hysteria found elsewhere.)

You might, however, consider going to the transcript of the Kavanaugh hearing when you read some summary in the media before accepting it as the full truth of the matter. A reputable media outlet will include in its reports excerpts from the actual transcript text to show the basis for the opinions expressed. Such as here:

There are a number of links via Google to the transcript, here for example, which should be searchable:

As to the "transparent lies" about 1980s prep school boys' inside group slang or idiom, I've never experienced that culture or any culture like it. My pre-college education (which predates BK's by 20 years or so) was 12 years of Midwestern Catholic schooling, and while I don't doubt that some in my small class of 85 HS graduates may have indulged in weekend beer parties, I was never part of that set. Therefore, I withhold judgment on whether Kavanaugh's testimony in that regard is truth or lie, as I have no personal filter through which to examine & weigh it. You may be able to make that assessment based on your personal high school experience, but I cannot -- evidence perhaps that not all high school experiences are identical? Could it be that Kavanaugh's experience was different from your own?

I'll grant you Roger's words about Ford, and agree that he is implying that she lied, based on his evaluation that she acted contrary to what her education and profession would have, should have, led her to do, and persisted in doing nothing for 3 decades. You got me on that one.

I don't know as I would describe either of the parties as "clearly lying" without irrefutable evidence on which to base that claim.

Your turn. :-)
Oops. "Murph" is the Google persona of ColoComment. Too fast on the submit clicking.
Michael Mukasey is a highly respected former judge and AG:
What a wealth of information has become available:

Ok, I'm done now.
Ok, I'm willing to concede that Devil's Triangle just happens to be a drinking game that was played almost exclusively at Kavanaugh's school and only during the early 80s, and that it just happens to be very coincidentally named exactly the same name of a very famous sexual position that Kavanaugh was accused of participating in or attempting to participate in by two different women (Ford is one). You seem very easy to believe the words of two classmates that sent letters after he made this claim, but whatever.

And that National Review article tried to point out the slant that the "liberal" media was giving his denials, twisting his claim "Sometimes I had too many beers". But the point was that he claimed he sometimes had too many beers, but never was blackout drunk. This is pretty contradictory in itself, but is also directly refuted by half a dozen former Yale classmates, who described him as "sloppy", "incoherent", "aggressive and belligerent", "stumbling" and "ridiculously" drunk during his time at Yale. Not to mention that he tried to pass off "Ralph Club" as a reference to his weak stomach? So he admits to sometimes having had too many beers, but never to throwing up or blacking out because of it? I dunno how anyone could possibly buy that, at all.

And, according to the transcripts Kavanaugh claimed: "When my friends and I spent time together at parties on weekends, it was usually the — with friends from nearby Catholic all-girls high schools, Stone Ridge, Holy Child, Visitation, Immaculate, Holy Cross." So he claimed he spent time with friends on the weekends, but according to his own calendar, there was a July 1 (Thursday) meeting for "skis" that also just happened to include several of the people Ford claimed had been at the get together. So that's another lie about only drinking on weekends.

As for the RCP article, the article I posted explicitly mentioned that it wasn't because of his temperament, but because of his answers (or lack thereof) that proves he's lying.

(These are all points that were covered by the article I originally posted, but it was a thorough article, and those were the points that stuck out for me, among others. You say you don't believe he lied about high school, Roger, so what do you say to my points?)

And I, as a big nerd, stayed mostly clean during my years in high school, but I'm very very familiar with the kind of high school kid that Kavanaugh is vigorously denying being, and there were a ton of them at my all boys catholic high school. And as unfortunate as it is, that was the culture at the time, even as late as the early 2000s when I was in high school. Maybe it's a bit embarrassing, but it's also totally understandable if Kavanaugh was that kind of douchey jock. There were (and probably still are) a lot of people like that in high school. If he'd said something like "Yeah I was an asshole jock, and I did a bunch of things in high school that I'm not proud of, but I don't recall any incident that Ford describes. I'm sorry to hear that she went through such an incident, and I welcome any investigation" That would have been much more understandable and believable. But his attempt to try to paint himself as some hardworking choir boy (as if studying hard and going to church were somehow mutually exclusive from being capable of rape or sexual assault), it makes him look like an untrustable serial liar, with zero regard for the actual truth. These are kind of important qualities in a Supreme Court judge, which is why this hearing has interested me so much.
The July 1 party was at a townhome, completely unlike the one described by Ford. So don't get your hopes up on that one, son. I applaud your interest, I question your sources and I can't tell, have you read a transcript or not?

I haven't perused it, but I've gone through it. And again, I'm not explicitly stating that the July 1 party was the one in question, just that Kavanaugh deliberately misled people about only drinking and partying on the weekends, and also about not knowing or affiliating with any of the other people that Ford said were at the party. And you still haven't addressed some of my other points. Like, do you honestly think Kavanaugh was named to the "Ralph Club" of "Beach Week" because he eats spaghetti with ketchup? Give. Me. A. Break.
I haven't tackled those important questions because I just don't care what a good judge did when he was a teenager nor if he remembers it clearly. And I've read a couple of the decisions he authored and he is a very good judge, at least on those two issues.
No, he's a bad judge and a pathological liar, but you can keep moving the goalposts back if you want
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