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Flake: 'I Plan To Support [Kavanaugh] Unless They Turn Up Something--And They Might'

By Matt Shuham
September 29, 2018 3:09 pm

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) told The Atlantic in an interview Friday night that he’d asked for a one-week pause in Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation process — so that the FBI can look into sexual assault allegations against Kavanaugh — in an attempt to preserve the credibility of “two institutions”: the Senate and the Supreme Court.

“The Supreme Court is the lone institution where most Americans still have some faith,” Flake said. “And then the U.S. Senate as an institution—we’re coming apart at the seams. There’s no currency, no market for reaching across the aisle. It just makes it so difficult.”

The magazine’s McKay Coppins asked Flake if he planned to continue supporting Kavanaugh’s confirmation “unless the FBI finds something in the next week that changes your mind?”

“Yes,” the senator, who’s retiring at the end of this term, replied. “I’m a conservative. He’s a conservative.”

“I plan to support him unless they turn up something—and they might,” Flake added.



Poll: Minimum wage is a more important issue than gun control to Gen Z

Michael Sykes - 11 hours ago

Raising the minimum wage rate from $15 holds more weight than stricter gun control laws with voters from Generation Z, according to new polling data from the Morning Consult.

Why it matters: Despite the impact of mass school shootings in America, the issue doesn't move voters from 18 to 21 years old as much as anticipated. Other issues like minimum wage, LGBT rights and taxing corporations hold more importance to them.


By the numbers: The morning consult polled 12,771 registered voters, which included 494 voters between 18 and 21 years old, to gauge their opinion on issues such as gun control, minimum wage and medicare for all.

Only 56% of voters surveyed said they'd be more likely to support a candidate advocating for stricter gun laws.

68% of those same voters said they'd be more likely to support a candidate who supported raising minimum wage. 66% said they'd do the same for a candidate supporting medicare for all.

Abolishing the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency was at the bottom of the list at 46%.


UPDATED: Trump rips NBC over report on limits to Kavanaugh investigation

Source: The Hill

BY KYLE BALLUCK - 09/30/18 07:49 AM EDT

President Trump in a tweet late Saturday ripped NBC News after the network reported that the White House was limiting the scope of the FBI's investigation into sexual assault allegations leveled against Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh.


Sources told the network that the FBI has not been permitted to investigate claims made by the third woman to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, Julie Swetnick, and will instead focus on accusations made by Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez.

Those sources said that the White House counsel’s office gave the FBI a list of witnesses it is permitted to interview.

The lawyer representing Swetnick, Michael Avenatti, said the development would be "outrageous" if true.

Read more: https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/409111-trump-rips-nbc-over-report-on-limits-to-kavanaugh-investigation


Trump says FBI has 'free rein' in Kavanaugh probe

By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN

Updated 9:26 PM ET, Sat September 29, 2018

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump said Saturday that the FBI has "free rein" to investigate his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual assault and sexual misconduct.

"The FBI as you know is all over, talking to everybody ... " Trump told reporters Saturday in Washington on his way to a rally in West Virginia. "They have been all over it already. They have free rein to do whatever they have to do."

On Friday, the Senate Judiciary Committee formally requested the White House instruct the FBI to conduct a supplemental background investigation, saying it should probe "current credible allegations" against Kavanaugh.

Complying with the Senate's request, Trump directed the FBI Friday night to re-open its background investigation into Kavanaugh with the probe "limited in scope and completed in less than one week."

Republicans said it would be left up to the FBI to decide which allegations are considered credible. Republican Sens. Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski, all key swing votes, set the terms of the investigation, three sources familiar with the matter told CNN.


Kavanaugh Accuser Faced Own Misconduct Charges

Source: PoliticalWire

September 29, 2018 at 11:05 pm EDT By Taegan Goddard 94 Comments

“Julie Swetnick, one of the women accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, faced allegations of her own misconduct during a short stint at a Portland tech company 18 years ago,” the Oregonian reports.

LIn the suit, Webtrends alleged Swetnick claimed to have graduated from Johns Hopkins University but the company said it subsequently learned the school had no record of her attendance.”

“The suit also alleges Swetnick ‘engaged in unwelcome, sexually offensive conduct’ while at Webtrends and ‘made false and retaliatory allegations that other co-workers had engaged in inappropriate conduct toward her.’”


Read more: https://politicalwire.com/2018/09/29/kavanaugh-accuser-faced-own-miscondcut-charges/

Housing Market Slows, as Rising Prices Outpace Wages

Source: The New York Times

By Ben Casselman
Sept. 29, 2018

DENVER — By nearly any measure, this city is booming. The unemployment rate is below 3 percent. There is so much construction that a local newspaper started a “crane watch” feature. Seemingly every week brings headlines about companies bringing high-paying jobs to the area.

Yet, Denver’s once-soaring housing market has run into turbulence. Sales and construction activity have slowed in recent months. Houses that would once have drawn a frenzy of offers are sitting on the market for days or weeks. Selling prices are rising more slowly, and asking prices are being slashed to attract buyers.

Similar slowdowns have hit New York, Seattle and even San Francisco, cities that until recently ranked among the nation’s hottest housing markets. The specifics vary, but economists, real estate agents and home builders say the core issue is the same: Home buyers are reaching a breaking point after years of breakneck price increases that far exceeded income gains.

“The local economy is still fantastic, all the fundamentals are there, but obviously wages are not keeping pace,” said Steve Danyliw, a Denver realtor. “As the market continues to move up, buyers are being pushed out.”

Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/09/29/business/economy/home-prices-housing-market-slowdown.html

A version of this article appears in print on Sept. 30, 2018, on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Housing Market Slows as Prices Outpace Wages.

NEWS ANALYSIS Kavanaugh Could Help G.O.P. in Senate Midterms. But Not in House Races.

By Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns
Sept. 29, 2018

WASHINGTON — By agreeing to delay Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh’s nomination in the short term, President Trump and Senate Republicans are making two long-term bets: that a drawn-out confirmation battle will secure a conservative majority on the Supreme Court, and that the fight will give them a better chance of keeping control of the Senate in the midterm elections.

With that Senate majority squarely in mind, Republicans are also making a concession to stark political realities. Party leaders have concluded that supporting Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, in the face of sexual assault accusations against him, will all but ensure that Republicans lose control of the House in November even as their fortunes may improve in some tough Senate races.

The thinking, according to Republicans, is that Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation would cause a backlash from female and independent voters against Republican candidates in dozens of highly competitive House races — many of which have already been slipping away — and do more damage than in statewide Senate contests. The party has a 23-seat majority in the House.

Even as Mr. Trump and Senate leaders acceded to an F.B.I. investigation into the accusations against Judge Kavanaugh, Republicans say they did so grudgingly. Privately, they are determined to press ahead with the confirmation process despite the political risks and the possibility that Republican senators may still defect and oppose the nomination in the end.

If Republicans are able to narrowly seat Judge Kavanaugh, who has angrily portrayed himself as the victim of a Democratic smear campaign, they would quite likely thrill their party’s activist base and give voters on the right a sense of momentum weeks before the midterm elections. By muscling forward with a floor vote next week, Republicans would also imperil several Senate Democrats from strongly conservative states who have opposed Judge Kavanaugh or expressed ambivalence about his nomination.


BUSTED: Kavanaugh lied about 'busting tail' to get into Yale with 'no connections' -- he was a legacy

BUSTED: Brett Kavanaugh lied about ‘busting tail’ to get into Yale with ‘no connections’ — he was a legacy

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has been busted in yet another lie to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

During his rage-filled testimony on Thursday, the prep school boy picked by President Donald Trump for a seat on the nation’s highest court claimed that he got into Yale through his own hard work.

“Senator, you were asking about college. I got into Yale Law School. That’s the number-one law school in the country. I had no connections there,” he said of the law school affiliated with the undergraduate school her attended. “I got there by busting my tail in college.” Kavanaugh also said that he got into Yale for his undergraduate education because he “busted my butt.”

“Senator, I was at the top of my class academically, busted my butt in school. Captain of the varsity basketball team. Got in Yale College. When I got into Yale College, got into Yale Law School. Worked my tail off,” Kavanaugh claimed.

However, this is not the case, reports The Intercept.

Kavanaugh was a legacy at Yale, where his grandfather Everett Edward Kavanaugh went. His father, Everett Edward Jr., was born in New Haven, home to his father’s alma mater, Yale. The younger Kavanaugh was again busted using a yearbook—?auto=compress%2Cformat&q=90" target="_blank">this one from 1925.

Brett Kavanaugh’s grandfather, who died four years before his grandson’s alleged attempted rape, is even buried in New Haven.




Trump Rips 'Total Phony' Sen. Blumenthal: 'Must Talk About His Fraudulent Service in Vietnam'

Source: Mediate

by Josh Feldman | Sep 29th, 2018, 4:56 pm

As the news cycle continues to be dominated by Brett Kavanaugh confirmation process and the new FBI investigation, President Donald Trump took a swipe on Twitter this afternoon at one of the Democrats on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who has been very outspoken about Kavanaugh and the hearings.

“Senator Richard Blumenthal must talk about his fraudulent service in Vietnam,” Trump tweeted, “where for 12 years he told the people of Connecticut, as their Attorney General, that he was a great Marine War Hero. Talked about his many battles of near death, but was never in Vietnam. Total Phony!”


Trump is referring to the scandal during Blumenthal’s 2010 campaign for Senate when The New York Times found false claims he made about his service during Vietnam.

And this isn’t the first time Trump’s brought it up to go after Blumenthal:



Read more: https://www.mediaite.com/online/trump-rips-total-phony-sen-blumenthal-must-talk-about-his-fraudulent-service-in-vietnam/

Trump on Kavanaugh Amid FBI Probe: 'I Don't Need a Backup Plan'

Source: Mediate

by Tamar Auber | Sep 29th, 2018, 5:53 pm 770

Shortly before leaving the White House to travel to Wheeling, West Virginia for another MAGA rally, President Donald Trump told reporters that he doesn’t see the need to have a backup plan when it comes to Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, who he expects is a “high-quality person.”

“The FBI as you know is all over, talking to everybody. And I would expect he is a very high-quality person. I would expect it is going to turn out very well for the judge,” Trump told reporters on the White House lawn. “There’s never been anybody that’s been looked at like Judge Kavanaugh. I think that it is going to work out very well.” In a rare bit of praise for the FBI, he also said the agency was going a great job and stressed they have free rein.

“The FBI I believe is doing a really great job,” he said. “They have been all over already. They have free rein, they’re gonna do whatever they have to do, whatever it is they do, they’ll be doing things we never even thought of and, hopefully, at the conclusion everything will be fine.”

Then after turning to the midterms, Trump said this: “I really believe when the public looks at the situation that’s taken place in the last three or four days and what the Democrats are doing and more importantly how they’re acting so terribly, so dishonestly, keeping papers and documents, not releasing them until after hearings are over, I really think the Republicans are picking up a lot.”

Read more: https://www.mediaite.com/trump/trump-on-kavanaugh-amid-fbi-probe-i-dont-need-a-backup-plan/

video + his praise of Kavanaugh at link, above

Call for FBI probe draws attention to association's past Kavanaugh concerns

BY TAL AXELROD - 09/29/18 03:53 PM EDT

The American Bar Association's (ABA) statement this week during a crucial point in Brett Kavanaugh's Supreme Court nomination is drawing attention to another time the group weighed in late in his judicial confirmation process.

In 2006, when Senate Republicans finally hoped to advance Kavanaugh's nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit after three years of Democratic opposition, the ABA downgraded its endorsement of the George W. Bush nominee.

The group’s judicial investigator had interviewed dozens of people in the legal field who had worked with Kavanaugh, some of whom raised concerns regarding “his professional experience and the question of his freedom from bias and open-mindedness," the ABA said in its May 2006 report.

One judge remarked about the nominee's "sanctimonious" presentation in court, arguing that Kavanaugh showed "experience on the level of an associate." One particular lawyer argued that Kavanaugh "dissembled" in a different court proceeding.

The result was a downgrading of the group's previous "well qualified" endorsement — its highest rating — to “qualified,” meaning he met the ABA’s standards to be a federal judge but was not necessarily an outstanding candidate.

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