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Tom Rinaldo

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Member since: Mon Oct 20, 2003, 05:39 PM
Number of posts: 22,218

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Kavanaugh's anger is genuine. So is his lying.

I can believe that it is possible Brett Kavanaugh is a man who made some efforts to pull his personal life together as he matured out of youth. Specifically, it seems plausible that he may have learned that he needed to back away from heavy alcohol use. Most if not all of the negative and/or criminal behavior (leaving aside "privileged" for a moment) that I've heard associated with him, when he was a teen and young man, seemed to coincide with significant alcohol use. I have never been an alcoholic and seldom consume any alcohol today (less than weekly) but when I was 18 or so, on some weekend nights, I drank way too much. Back then, in those instances, I welcomed the experience of getting drunk. I had some partial black out experiences as a result, a loss of memory abut specific events although I never lost all memory of what I had been up to. It felt to me at the time almost like something to be proud of - some masculine rite of passage. I pretty quickly stopped believing that, before I turned twenty in fact) and it's been decades since I've had much more than a mild alcohol "buzz".

I am not commenting on the underlying values a young man must have to allow him to engage in some of the fowl activities ascribed to Kavanaugh in his youth. I am talking about an aspect of "maturing" in which one may come to realize that walking a down a bad path in life leads one to a bad destination - a place where you don't want to be. Kavanaugh may have come to that realization. He may have looked at where drinking led him compared to where he wanted to go. Maybe he subsequently backed off. Maybe that wasn't the easiest thing to do. Maybe he takes pride in having reigned in a demon that threatened to derail his life potential. He is a married man in a seemingly stable and positive relationship (I'll give him the advantage of the doubt here - I know of no reports to the contrary.) He has two daughters who he no doubt loves deeply. A mature sober Brett Kavanaugh, I again am willing to believe, would never engage in some of the acts that accusers describe the younger intoxicated Brett Kavanaugh as having done. Let's speculate for a moment that Brett Kavanaguh (with the help of sobriety) turned over a new behavioral leaf and sincerely sought to leave that past behind as he built his adult life....

If so he must be furious at those who seemingly wound back the clock to now fix his moral character at a point in his life which he had seemingly long since "left behind." Yes his life has been thrown into turmoil causing great pain to his family I am sure. Certainly his reputation has been tarred, possibly irrevocably. Quite often actors tap into real emotions when they play a dramatic scene. I have no doubt Kavanaugh's emotions were legitimate yesterday at the hearing. No doubt he believes, at some primal level, that what is happening to him is not fair. It is easy to slip into believing that chickens that did not come home to roost after 35 years have ceased to exist, if ever they once did so. He angrily blames Democrats for politically ambushing him but even were that true it does nothing to negate the reality that Dr. Ford painfully bore witness to yesterday at the Senate hearing. He wants that period of his life to slip below the waves, to sink back into obscurity never to be examined again. Part of his anger is from knowing that he can not now make it so.

A man like that, against whom credible charges of perjury have previously been made completely unrelated to his actions as a youth, would lie to cover up inconsistencies in his youthful story, if he felt his entire life, not just his Supreme Court nomination, was now on the line. No doubt he would feel justified in doing so. To the extent he could change his past he most likely feels like he already has done so. He is proud of the man he considers himself to be today. Now it is is present life, his present family, his present relationship with female friends, that he feels he must fight at all costs to defend. I think we say him doing that on national TV yesterday.

And this on the heels of Bill Cosby's sentancing whch dominated yesterday's news

...Coverage which highlighted the strength and perseverance of contagious women who persevered when their allegations here initially dismissed by those with power. Those interviews of Cosby survivors were intense, highly personal, and extremely moving. Indelible in fact. And now this. America gets to watch as the rich and powerful Republican white males who sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee attempt to railroad through a nomination to the U.S. Supreme Court of a privileged male accused of serial sexual assaults without even authorizing a full investigation of the allegations against him. Or even allowing witnesses who can corroborate what his victims went through to even testify, let alone here testimony from all of the women who have come forth.

Republicans chose to go all in with Kavenaugh. Now they are trapped on the same sinking boat with him, whether or not they continue on their course to install him on the Court as soon as is humanly possible.

Go ahead, Hold that vote on Friday, fuckers:"No need for any FBI investiation"

Throw gasoline on the fire that will engulf you. Couldn't happen to a "nicer" group of violence against women enablers. Just follow the lead of your Pussy Grabber in Chief. Show all women (and decent men) where you stand.

I can understand why an assault victim would retain Avenatti now

Ordinarily I might hope they would use "the system" to bring their allegations forward. There is a built in element of "showmanship" (by design) in how Avenatti operates. In some ways a victim may appear more "credible" if they report their concerns about Kavenaugh directly to the Senate committee first, where his appointment to the Supreme Court is currently being considered.

But knowing how the Republican Party operates I can understand the Avenatti route instead. These women are being attacked, these women are being persecuted, and they are being defamed. They might want a pit bull watching their backs, and in their place I might well turn to Avenatti first myself. He knows how to move the game off of defense onto offense. And as they say, the best defense is often a good offense.

To any woman now stepping forward they put themselves at personal (and perhaps legal) risk. So much of what determines whose personal life and career is protected and whose is destroyed plays out today in the mass media and political realms. Avenatti fights in those realms. For these women a lot more is at stake now than whether the wrong Jurist gets promoted.

So I see that Morning Joe contributor Donny Deutsch just said (among other things)

"Women are taking over this country." He is right, even though that takeover is a slow moving train that will take a long time reaching it's destination. It can't happen quickly enough, though the pace will definitely accelerate this fall. The thing is, generally speaking, when women take power they share it. All of us will benefit, the vast majority of men included, in that form of society. Most men are far more frequently "oppressed" by other men than they ever would be by women in power who, by and large, will welcome any valuable input from any sources.

And the same goes for people of color. I eagerly await the coming changes.

Botttom Line: If Manafort had little to offer Mueller he would not have gotten this deal

Manafort is high on the food chain, the former campaign manager for Trump who secured his nomination and managed the National Republican Convention. If Manafort had nothing important to disclose against higher targets than himself, Meuller would have nailed his scalp to the wall, rather than bargain. The evidence was there to secure multiple convictions at trial. The plea deal would not have involved a guilty plea to only two charges if this wasn't a prelude to something bigger. Manafort had to first prove his value to Mueller's team moving forward before Mueller agreed to the terms of this deal. Clearly he has done so

Virtually the entire G.O.P. is now trapped in a tightening vice

All of their elected officials and candidates for major offices had to decide prior to this mid term election cycle: distance themselves from Trump or hitch their wagon to him. Almost all of them chose the latter. Their last theoretical window of opportunity to pull back from Trump closed for any Republican elected official on the State or National level who did not express sharp alarm at the revelations detailed in that anonymous "high Administration official" Op-Ed published in the NY Times. Silence equaled full complicity from that moment on.

They gambled on weathering the storm by hunkering down and sheltering in place, hoping the damage wouldn't be catastrophic after the latest round of shocking revelations blew over. They took a calculated risk, knowing that attempting to break from Trump at such a late stage would cost them dearly with Trump's base, and that angering Trump's base now spelled doom for many candidates already struggling to stay afloat in the face of a surging blue wave election.

They gambled wrong, and it will cost them more now than mere control of one or two Houses of Congress come November. This storm will not blow over. Manafort's cooperation, on top of Cohen's cooperation, on top of Gate's cooperation, on top of Flynn's cooperation etc. just nailed shut the coffin. A month or so back, when Republican politicians made their final calculations, Trump was experiencing some improvement in his polling. That was before McCain's funeral, where the contrast between human decency and Donald Trump became ever so starkly clear. That was also before Bob Woodward's expose became the hottest selling book in the land. Trump is going down politically even before he goes down legally. And the handwriting is on the wall that he is going down legally also.

All of the Republicans who blew past every flashing yellow light and even a few stop signs in their haste to stand by Trump no longer can stand against him, and they can not stand on their own. Each and every one of them now are damaged goods even if they don't yet know it, although they probably do.

Some day, most likely, the Republican Party will rebuild - but even that is no longer a certainty. If it does it will coalesce around a handful of "Never Trumpers" plus Republicans who served at the state level who avoided wrapping themselves in the sickly glow of Trump's vanity, hatred, incompetence, and greed. Meanwhile I expect we will see lot of squirming between now and election day from many Republicans who are about to face the electorate.

All Republicans need to answer "Do you think Woodward's reporting is subtantially accurate?"

If they answer no, then why not given that Woodward has a very long history of non partisan responsible journalism and has hundreds of hours of tapes documenting his account, with no one so far able to refute anything he wrote.

If they answer yes, then how the hell can they still stand in the shadows providing cover for a dangerously ill qualified president?

There is NO reason why Kavanaugh can't disclose what he thinks is or is not settled law.

According to his own long standing legal beliefs one does not have to agree with the legal reasoning behind matters of "settled law" in order to determine that a matter is "settled law". It has nothing to do with what he deems to otherwise be the legal merits of a case. It is strictly a matter of whether precedence is sufficiently established or not to allow a ruling to be overturned.

Should Kavanaugh still believe, as he seemingly did in that 2003 memo, that Roe Vs Wade is NOT settled law, saying so does not in any way reveal how he would rule on the merits of a case that may end up before him on the Supreme Court. In other words: He is free to admit whether or not Roe Vs Wade is settled law. It in no way compromises his refusal to discuss a case that may come before him on the SC. If it is NOT settled law he can still cling to his refusal to divulge how he would rule on it's merits prior to hearing the actual case.

Our deepest collective shame isn't that Donald Trump managed to become President

Though that is more than enough to be deeply ashamed of. It is that our society still grants him the power and influence of that office, and that a major American political party still stands by him as their leader heading into critical mid term elections.

It is one thing to elect a demagogue once, it is another not to purge him immediately once that fact is widely known, and another still to then literally acquiesce to his leadership for any number of craven political and self serving reasons. It was not Trump's election itself that so gravely threatens our democracy, it is all that has happened since.
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