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September 28, 2018


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what you said the day after he was "elected"-it will be worse than you can imagine...once again, correct

The drama of the past couple days has been unprecedented. The latest is Flake's "gambit of conscience" to ask Senate leadership delay the floor vote for a week so the FBI can investigate. This is highly unlikely, in my opinion, since McConnell (and hence Trump) know how vulnerable Kavanaugh would be to real scrutiny. But it's the veiled threat by Flake - a "no" vote on the floor - that changes everything. Flake does have significant leverage given Lisa Murkowski's support of his idea. Kavanaugh could be damned in either scenario. Or, he could read the writing on the wall, and just withdrawal.

Jeff Flake is hardly a profile in courage but he is significantly different from most other Republicans (see: Lindsey Graham) since he does have basic integrity. His politics are anathema to me, and I long assumed he would simply vote for Kavanaugh since they're ideologically in tune. But the judicial frat-bro's reputation is in tatters now and Flake is adjusting to this reality.

America may be irremediably broken, and we desperately need some kind of centrist figure who transcends the partisan gridlock and creates a new consensus.

The GOP's agreement to Flake's idea suggests two things:

1. The can limit the scope of the FBI investigation to the Ford allegation alone.

2. They can limit the debate on the FBI's findings to the Senate floor.

The quick decision by McConnell suggests confidence that the GOP can manage the Flake gambit with talking points and misdirection and that there will be no bombshells or much new information unearthed. We'll see if this comes to pass but McConnell has shown over and over his tactical command of the Congressional process.

I wonder if Chris Coons could have gotten a better deal from Flake if he insisted on keeping the judiciary committee hearing open until after the investigation was completed. Coons really didn't have much leverage here so the answer if probably no. That said, the GOP still appears to be in the driver's seat with this nomination.

I'm thinking the Dems went to the GOP and said, "we're going to get the house back. We'll investigate Kav for two years solid and keep him in the nightly news every single day."

The GOP said, how about a one week FBI investigation then we vote.

The Dems responded, "deal".

The Blue Wave has flipped over 40 state legislative races since that dreadful, fateful day in 2016. We flipped an Assembly seat in NY in a Special Election in April - one that had been held by the GOP for 40 years. We are on the verge of making New York even blue-er, hoping to retake the 5th Senatorial District which has been in GOP hands since 1961. Watch Sharice Davids in Kansas, Alyssa Pressley in Boston, Andrew Janz replacing Devin Nunes in CA. It's coming.

The good boy ex president turned painter and a male member of the boys keeping Pancho Villas head locked up in their secret ckub house is supporting Kavanaugh.

Flake confirms once again his family name is an adjective, he has all the mental backbone of a conformist raised in the midst of Birchers and old-timey scientologists, and that he has no moral center, sense of decency, and desperately wants to part of the Illuminati.

My wish has been fulfilled - although it isn't quite what I expected.

Please select each of the charges you believe are true:

•Claim 1 - Locking a young girl in a room
•Heavy petting
•Attempted rape

•Claim 2 - Display of penis (leftists hyperventilate over this claim, but having a trans person with a penis in a woman’s bathroom is Kosher. Okay.)

•Claim 3 - Gang rapist

If I were a betting man, I would bet my life savings that most commenters here (maybe not Rogue, his column strangely omits his opinion on the validity of the allegations) tic all these boxes.


Because as long as false accusations bolster the chances of your radical leftist allies gaining power, nothing else matters. Truth is relative. To the radical leftists it’s “Her truth”, “his truth”, “their truth”. Even more disappointing is that the Republicans give credence to this bastardization of reality in an effort to look compassionate. All sides say Ford was compelling. Right.

This is not about sexual assault. This is only about ideology, Trump, and the direction this country is headed. Sexual assault is simply another arrow in the quiver of radical leftists - it sits idly alongside its comrade, “racism” - to be taken, drawn, and released towards anyone that defies radical leftist thought. The saving grace is that these weapons have been brought to bear so often, so methodically, and so unimaginatively, that they have lost their power. Each shot dulls the edge. Trump is teaching the Republicans how to fight. How to win.

Mid-terms - I’m excited, you’re worried.

Here’s your sign.

From a GOP perspective, the risk of the "Flake gambit" is that it's a week of delay and it's acquiescing to the Dems' transparent strategy since the Ford letter was revealed to the committee after the hearings, and her identity leaked, of doing anything they can to delay the process. It's another week for the opponents of any conservative nominee to come up with additional sketchy accusers that might hopefully move the needle in either influencing the few shaky senators or bringing justification to delay more.

Flake and the GOP optimistically, but perhaps foolishly, hope that allowing the FBI to do more background will satisfy Democrats that Ford's accusation has been given due consideration. As if. But the delayed hearing to accommodate her testimony, declining to aggressively cross examine her and providing a week for the FBI to do more investigation might be enough for wavering Senators and non partisan voters to feel the process was not unfair to her.

The upside is that there is very little the FBI can investigate beyond reinterviewing the witnesses who've already given sworn statements that they don't remember anything of the party or incident. If they can't find any corroborating evidence, it is possible that a few Democrats could vote to confirm beyond all the Republicans. 

My opinion is that if an emotional but completely uncorroborated accusation from one's high school years is enough to take down a person with a totally unblemished record who has passed six prior FBI background investigations and held the highest national security clearance, then no one is safe. The brightest and most qualified people will frequently decline to offer themselves for public service because the risk is just not worth it. Rewarding this nasty political warfare will damage our public life. I give the benefit of the doubt to the accused.

I think it is also an object lesson to any young person aspiring to high positions. Don't drink or ever put yourself in positions where you could be plausibly accused of misconduct. Kavanaugh revealed on TV that he was a virgin until well after college, but he couldn't deny he's a beer drinker, the one thing that makes the accusation against him seem plausible.

Did you say? "there are no facts, just interpretations"
"Truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions"

Im opposed to Kavanaugh because of his sponsors and facilitators such as extremists like Leonard Leo and because of Kavanaugh' beliefs about presidential powers and a number of other opinions.


Rabies is a terrible disease, especially in it's later stages among repub flame throwers AND dem flame throwers.

You're drooling on the keyboard, step away from the computer.

The demeanor the nominee displayed at the hearing is very troubling. Such disrespect and lack of candor, regardless of the validity of the allegations, is in an of itself sufficient grounds for voting against the nomination. Had such an attitude been displayed in a Maricopa superior courtroom, he would have been held in contempt of court and threatened with jail. As long as it is someone with the proper right wing credentials, no problem for Republicans.

I think Trump nominated himself to the Supreme Court. That is, he found someone who simply denies any and all charges against him. The problem for Trump's toady is that he has opened himself up to a raft of perjury charges since any number of people remember him drinking himself into a stupor and behaving like the callous and raucous frat-bro type so near and dear to a party of sociopaths.

Those of us on the sane side of this debate seem to hold the Supreme Court in higher esteem than the authoritarians on the right. True, righties can twist themselves into pretzels with their textualist arguments pertinent to time frames much further back than 36 years ago. A rape charge is, apparently, both too old and too new for our post-modern antiquarians. But what remains startingly new and old at the same time is something called "judicial temperament". Our put-upon nominee, however gave away the game when he blamed a conspiracy of Democrats and Clintons for the pickle he's in. How can anyone expect an impartial jurist who thinks like Rush Limbaugh zonked out on Budweiser?

Dumbing down democracy to the level of a right-wing talk radio gabfest has been 40-some years in the making. Reagan got this ball rolling when he allied the GOP with snake handlers and God botherers of Dogpatch, USA. From that point forward, the real world was no longer a concern for the right except insofar as it devolved government for the betterment of the rich and powerful. The rubes went along with this scheme under the impression that voting your skin color would either guarantee you prime real estate in heaven or, at the very least, a coveted place in a pyramid scheme like Amway. The credulously incurious remain devout in that faith.

America, I hope, is bigger than them and their manic puppetmasters in talk radio and Fox News. We'll see this Novemeber if democracy survives their nihilism. If not, we can still enjoy the Hobbesian nightmare together in an post-apocalyptic playground emblazoned with huge gold letters: T R U M P. But until then, liberals remain guardians of a process more sacred than white identity politics. We take democracy seriously because our understanding of human nature is perched between reason and despair. We know human beings are like America itself, a fitful work in progress that might at any time collape from cynicism and bad faith. We remain bigger than you righties because we don't prey on the elderly with fearmongering or beleaguered white tradesmen with racial resentment. If we fail to hold this fort, democracy itself will fail. But we will have died keeping that flame alive to the very bitter end of our lives and honor.

Somehow again, just as in every single other post Soleri has made this situation - which has NOTHING to do with race - about race.

The right is racist? Take a good look in the mirror.

Solari, I agree with nary a word of your last post, but man you can write a great essay. You are really good at making your points and doing it in an interesting fashion with great use of the language. If you don't already, you should write your own blog.

I have to say this is a cynical bunch here. Everything is about the end of democracy or the end of civilization as we know it. You're all eager to think the worst of Kavanaugh. I challenge you to think empathetically and imagine IF he were actually innocent and you were in his shoes, would you not feel the same attitude as he displayed? Especially towards the left side of the semicircle where many have treated him (not to mention his accuser) so poorly. I hope Soleri's liberals who take democracy seriously aren't exemplified by some of the members of the Senate judiciary committee. 

To say that his defense of himself displays a poor judicial temperament is ridiculous and petty. Who will defend him but him? Who would not put everything he has into defending his reputation in the only forum and opportunity he has to do so? Liberals say they want real people with empathy as judges. If you watch Kavanaugh's statement in its entirety, it's hard to say he doesn't come off as a real person. It is also hard to say based on his career and the number of friends and colleagues who have vouched for him and stood by him and maintained friendships with him over decades that he has a character that's unbefitting a judge or justice.

I believe this saga is the ultimate political Rorshoch test. How one views the nominee and the process is determined by what outcome one has wanted from the beginning of the nomination. The effort to defeat his nomination is also the ultimate display of ends-justify-the-means politics. I'll concede the Republicans did Merrick Garland a disservice to deny him a hearing but at least they didn't destroy the man.

Interesting article I ran across:


I was lying in bed last night unable to sleep wondering whether the division in America is now too deep to bridge, and whether our nation is effectively ungovernable now. The right is fine with this war since they don't believe in government anyway. They tend to believe in a Strongman savior - say Trump - but not in democracy as the salvaging force of our civic lives. That is now broken. What matters is complete adherence to their victim saga where evil liberals like myself have made them say Happy Holidays instead of Merry Christmas, taken God out of classrooms, cursed America with a complete takeover of the health care system, shamed their use of politically incorrect words, etc, etc. The culture war is the vehicle of our national madness and has permanently disabled politics as a means of redressing our differences. The cold civil war is now a virtual civil war.

I used to argue with a hyperpartisan Republican named INPHX about this but he refused to see anything sinister here since he himself has been infected by the madness of this tribal belief system. The conspiracy theory that liberals hijacked America with their anything-goes culture, hatred of Christ and the American flag, and favoring of blacks is simply too obvious to anyone who listened to Rush Limbaugh for five minutes or watched Fox News. The Republican Party is a grievance-based religion, not a party of varying interests and policy preferences. No, no, no. Their church is about evil liberals ruining everything, and thank God Donald Trump is finally standing up to us and our villainy.

Democrats argue among themselves about things like which kind of social democracy we can be, whether to push for Medicare for All, for example. We argue even in this forum about our own excesses, say the tendency of social justice warriors to shame words, might be contributing to this madness. but we don't all believe the same thing. The right now believes whatever Donald Trump believes.

The original sin of America is slavery and it still lives inside us. Conservatism is most itself when it minimizes this wound to our national soul and its meaning in our history. We don't call Republicans Neo-Confederates for nothing. The Southernization of the GOP is virtually complete now, both as a geographic reality and as a spiritual one. It is an all-white party for a reason just as Democrats are the welcoming party for those seeking justice. Once again, we believe in government. Republicans do not.

I am a stuck record when it comes to talking about the shotgun marriage of the Republican party and organized religion. It has driven the right insane. Their devil theory is a literal one. They can no longer do policy or even care to. Just cut taxes on the rich, scuttle regulatory oversight, and blame Democrats for deficits because of social spending. Oddly, it is the Democrats who live in blue states that help the red states stay above water who are the "takers". Republicans on SS, Medicare, Medicaid, SNAP, VA care, etc. are the "producers".

The grievance based religion that is the Republican Party was on lurid display Thursday afternoon when Brett Kavanaugh unleashed his disconcerting victim tirade. A man who promised to keep politics out jurisprudence, was irate that anyone dare question his sacred entitlement to a Supreme Court seat. How dare anyone challenge him, eerily sounding like his sponsor President Trump. It was intentional, of course - rally the base - but it was at the same time heartfelt. Because this at long last is what conservatism has become: a bunch of whiny, entitled white guys playing the victim card because they no longer have unquestioned privilege of place in our culture and politics.

While I tossed and turned last night I heard one calming voice in the ethers counsel me: nothing lasts forever. America was never going to endure for eternity and neither will the planet or even the sun. We're all finite here. But if we are going to make sense to one another, we have to speak as frankly as we can about what is really happening to our nation. Our national project is now permanently broken. We are in an unspeakably dangerous time in our national history. The upward arc of America is now on a sharp downward trajectory. I am resigned to the inevitable but I'm still human. I will fight for our survival to my dying breath.

“Historically it is pretty well proved now that the ancient Greeks and Romans knew nothing about race. They had another standard—civilized and barbarian—and you could have white skin and be a barbarian and you could be black and civilized.” Which one are you?

ὀστρακισμός is Ostracism (Ost racism?)

Of course its about racism and has been since.
"Rudyard Kipling's poem The White Man's Burden (1899) is one of the more famous illustrations of the belief in the inherent superiority of the European culture over the rest of the world, though it is also thought to be a satirical appraisal of such imperialism. Racist ideology thus helped legitimize the conquest and incorporation of foreign territories into an empire, which were regarded as a humanitarian obligation partially as a result of these racist beliefs."

Of course Donald Trump is a white supremacist. There isn’t enough space here for me to cite and elaborate all his racist views.

And not much has changed in congress:

"Representative John L. Dawson, a member of Congress after the Civil War, insisted that racial prejudice was “implanted by Providence for wise purposes.” Senator James Doolittle of Wisconsin, a contemporary of Dawson’s, claimed that an “instinct of our nature” impelled us to sort people into racial categories and to recognize the natural supremacy of whites when compared to people with darker skins."

"Whitecapping, which started in Indiana in the late 19th century, soon spread throughout all of North America, causing many African laborers to flee from the land they worked on. In the US during the 1860s, racist posters were used during election campaigns."

The white boys in charge today fancy themselves the successors of the Blue Bloods.

Jon7190, from your DKE post.

"As the 1980s came to a close, the fraternity began to stir up the kind of campus controversy familiar to students today. In 1988, an African-American undergraduate, Daryl Kennedy ’90, alleged that members of DKE turned him away from a party on the basis of his race. Kennedy, who died in 2009, never filed a formal complaint with the Yale College Executive Committee, and Gallo said he was turned away from the party because it was overcrowded."

"DKE was not the only all-male social group to which Kavanaugh belonged during his time at the University. In his senior year, he joined the secret society Truth and Courage — an all-male club popular among athletes that some Yale alumni have likened to a glorified fraternity. Indeed, among some students, Truth and Courage was known by an alternative name — “Tit and Clit.”

And how about women:
"Patriarchy is a social system in which males hold primary power and predominate in roles of political leadership, moral authority, social privilege."

"Yale’s Title IX officials began an investigation into DKE’s sexual climate in February, less than three years after the fraternity’s return to campus following a five-year ban handed down as punishment after the group’s pledges were caught on video chanting “no means yes, yes means anal” in front of the Women’s Center."

"Some feminist theorists have argued that in patriarchy, a standard of male supremacism is enforced through a variety of cultural, political, and interpersonal strategies.[2] Since the 19th century there have been a number of feminist movements opposed to male supremacism, usually aimed at achieving equal legal rights and protections for women in all cultural, political and interpersonal relations."

And Kavanaugh and his religious sponsors:
"Some academics and writers claim that Christian supremacism was a motivation for the Crusades in the Holy Land, as well as for crusades against Muslims and pagans throughout Europe.[20] The Atlantic slave trade has been attributed in part to Christian supremacism as well.[21] The Ku Klux Klan has been described as a white supremacist Christian organization, as are many other white supremacist groups, such as the Posse Comitatus and the Christian Identity and Positive Christianity movements"

Here is what I have issues with Kavanagh and his sponsors.

It continues on:
"The "newer" (more hidden and less easily detectable) forms of racism—which can be considered embedded in social processes and structures—are more difficult to explore as well as challenge. It has been suggested that, while in many countries overt or explicit racism has become increasingly taboo, even among those who display egalitarian explicit attitudes, an implicit or aversive racism is still maintained subconsciously."

And is this the Bernie Sanders?

"Racism and capitalism have been intertwined since the beginning of capitalism. You can’t have capitalism without racism. Therefore, the final triumph over racism will only come when we abolish the source of racism—capitalism—and build a new socialist society."

Brilliant, and on point, Soleri. One of your best.

So, I'm guessing under the ostracized one's formulation, righteous conservatives--like him--would be "civilized" and dangerous leftists--like some of us--would be "barbarians".


It follows that, since the ancient Romans and Greeks kept slaves of all ethnicities, regardless of skin color, they couldn't possibly be "racist" and that made slavery ok.

"Barbarians in Bondage". Sounds like a John Waters' film.

Also, women were essentially chattel in both cultures...which fits right in with Republican family values.

It's all making "sense" now.


Science of happenstance explaining Trump and other nut jobs


Thanks for writing that. With your permission, I'll show it to a few other people.

A quibble: the _original_ sin of America is disposesson and genocide of Native Americans (all of a piece with the chattel slavery of blacks, which came a bit later but fit right into the existing white-supremacy narrative). As a society, we have made more strides toward recognizing the evil of black slavery and attempting to counter its effects than we have in recognizing and owning the earlier sin.


Joel, thanks for your note. I don't mean to minimize the suffering of North American indigenes by suggesting the black experience is more central to our history and political passions. Still, from slavery to the civil war to Jim Crow to the civil rights revolution to our current racist president, blacks are extraordinarily relevant to our national passion play. In the context of this discussion, the focus is necessarily on the use or misuse of that story to justify a psychological retreat for nearly half this nation into a frenzy of white victimhood and rage. This is why America is on the verge of collapse today - the conscious tweaking of this rage by GOP cynics through scapegoating and innuendo.

For all the harm visited upon Native Americans, they are not vilified like this nor are they targets of white racists. For all the time I spend on the internet, I have never seen racist depictions of Native Americans, or the dehumanization of them that you would find in any story and comment thread about Barack and Michelle Obama, Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, Maxine Waters, or Colin Kaepernick. Just last week, Matt Schlapp of the American Conservative Union sent out a tweet with a picture of Cory Booker and Kamala Harris at the Kavanaugh hearing making it plain how awful it is that a fine man like our frat-bro SCOTUS nominee is being judged by "them".

When I call this the original sin of America, this is what I'm getting at. I understand if blacks disappeared tomorrow, GOP operatives would search for another minority group to demonize and it could well be Native Americans. But that counterfactual doesn't erase the brutal reality that America's animus and cruelty has been uniquely focused on blacks for a long, long time and is still dreadfully current and malicious.

Human beings are a work in progress, needless to say. Beneath our thin veneer of civilization and material wealth we're still killer apes at heart. Taming our voracious appetites and instinctive rapacity has been a core function of democracy, which can only work when people practice self-control and tolerance so the system itself runs smoothly for the benefit of all. What is happening today is that the GOP has brazenly attacked this system for the sake of power and their wealthy donors. It's as grave a crisis as we've seen since the last civil war. I am not confident we will survive it.

In 95/96 i spent 5 months backpacking from Phoenix to D.C. In Texas my interactions with white folks was decidely the most interesting with regard to racism. A majority of white guys angrily hated blacks and belittled Mexicans. But in all my conversations i could not get those same dudes to offer an opinion on American natives. I have experienced similar situations in Arizona and other states but not as pronounced as in Texas. Maybe its some sort of guilt psychology as they were here first. I spent 44 years living with two indigenous fine ladies and my personal tendencies still lean in that direction.

"Killer Apes at heart"
Once a year i re watch 2001 in which the opening scenes depict the first homicide.

When you ERASE 95 percent of a people through disease and genocide, it's kind of hard to hurt their feelings after that.

No need for the jaw bone of an ass.
Just send forth a white god via priests and clergymen. We have come to save you heathens, and while we are here we want your gold, your oil and your land. Now there are too many of you so we must poison your water and deny you health care. Then we will abolish the 13th amendment. And eventually our 5000 white superior folks will own it all. For we are called Bankers.


Did Jeff Flake just call for a "full" investigation of Kavanaugh? This Reuters reports sure makes it sound like that. If that's the case, this could be a real game changer.

A thought for today. Apply it as you may.

Don't argue with an idiot; people watching may not be able to tell the difference.

I think it would be very interesting if you would share your opinion of the "investigation" with us.

What investigation?

There is a reason I put it i8n quotes.

I get your point Cal. I am not a trained investigator. I spent 25 years teaching and coaching elementary school kids. Teachers are constantly investigating incidents. We learn to recognize "tells".
I do not know how anything can be "investigated" without talking to the principals involved. I watched the entire so-called hearing. IMHO I saw a number of classic tells of a liar by the Judge.

Today's vote will determine the direction of our country for decades to come.
Tribalism or Unity. I hope some Senator has the balls to stand up and be counted for unity and country.

Hope is all we have now.

I suggest Portugal or Uruguay.

Professor Ramjet. Sorry to hear you are suffering from self inflicted wounds. I have not experienced a scintilla of violent emotion since not turning on a tv for the last 19 months.
Not a difficult task for me as i pretty much gave it up in 64.

The trials of a political junkie. It is an addiction for which there is no cure!

Well, now the commenters here have their hands full and schedules packed.

Two men to be impeached!

To business, comrades!

Well compadre i see no impeachments on the horizon. But i look forward to Xi and Valdimar playing pull the strings with their favorite clown puppet.
I understand Putins trajectories given the stumbling drunk Yeltsin's embarrassment of Russia with his collusion with American politicians, Yalee elitists and those financial wall street greed monsters that sought to ravage Russia. And how long will it take for China to make the US the world's second most powerful country?

"The Republican-controlled Senate appears poised to confirm a Supreme Court justice who believes in presidential immunity to criminal investigation. He was handpicked by a president whose wealth was inherited through tax fraud, whose former personal attorney has implicated him in a federal crime, and who is the focus of an ongoing investigation into a foreign attack on American democracy."
Adam Serwer

The above was in the Atlantic with this headline
The Guardrails Have Failed
The conflict over Trump’s Supreme Court nominee exposed the fast-eroding institutional barriers to the president’s authoritarian instincts.

After 17 years of fighting in Afghanistan, it would appear that the Taliban control most of the country and once we have the sense to leave, they will control all of the country.

Chalk one up for the long game of religious fanatics.

In the U.S., the long game of the religious fanatics (evangelicals) is on the way to victory in our country. They used a gullible village idiot (trump) and a conniving religious fanatic (pence) to set their final battle in motion. They will transform the judiciary for years to come. They will transform the education system for generations. God made the earth 6,000 years ago and oh, by the way , it's flat. Their victory will be due in most part to a distracted electorate and an easily distracted media (SQUIRREL !!!).

I guess you and Sylvia Allen are on the same wavelength.No evolution in the3 White Mts. eh?

Ramjet, the bible thunpers ran his "heathen savage "butt out of town.

If evolution were real, then all primates would have turned into people by now. Totally fake science. Since leaving the Show Low area, my IQ is going up noticeably. It's approaching the lower 80's. If I were still golfing, I would be able to shoot my IQ.

They have done so only now we call them Congress

Ramjet and cal,

At this rate the three of us will be taking a dirt nap before we reach the next 30,000 comments. (;-(

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