30 September 2018

No Posting Tonight

Phone went titsup tonite.

If anyone has a suggestion as to good software to recover an ext2 partition on an SD card, contact me.

29 September 2018

About F%$#ing Time

The latest FAA authorization bill gives the agency the right to regulate seat spacing:
The recently announced multi-year deal to reauthorize the FAA contains many gifts for industry, from new rules restricting the misuse of service and support animals to policies that advance the safe integration of commercial drones. But a provision tucked in the bill that would clear the way for the FAA to regulate minimum seat sizes has some industry watchers concerned that Congress may be overstepping its bounds.

Section 577 of H.R. 302—the legislative package containing the FAA reauthorization bill—would give the agency one year to issue regulations that establish minimum seat dimensions for all commercial aircraft operating in the U.S. These would include minimums for seat pitch, width and length.


The proposed regulations—if approved—would likely be felt most acutely by the ultra-low-cost carriers (ULCC), which have high-density seating to maintain their low unit costs. 
This does not mean that the FAA will act, and they have seemed disinclined to do so, but I think that political pressure will eventually lead to meaningful action.

That;s the First One

An F-35 has crashed in South Carolina its pilot ejected safely:
An F-35 fighter jet crashed in South Carolina, the US Marine Corps said, in the first such incident to affect the most expensive defence programme in the world.

A statement said the crash occurred in the vicinity of Beaufort, South Carolina, at approximately 11.40am on Friday.

“The US Marine pilot ejected safely,” the statement said, adding that there were no civilian injuries and both the health of the pilot and the cause of the crash were being evaluated.
If it's the Marines, then it is the "B" model.

I'm wondering if this is just the normal course of things, or if it is another glitch in the program.

Wrist Slap

Elon Musk has to resign as chairman of the board and he, and Tesla, have to pay a small fine, which looks like meaningful enforcement, but has little real consequence: He still runs the company, he is still the largest share holder, so it is a distinction without a difference:
Elon Musk is to step down as chair of Tesla for three years and pay a fine after reaching a deal with the US financial regulator over tweets he made about taking the firm into private ownership.

Under the settlement Musk would remain as chief executive but must leave his other post within 45 days. Both he and the company will each pay a $20m (£15.3m) fine.

The entrepreneur has overseen two tumultuous months for the car company that battered Tesla’s share price and Musk’s reputation. Last Friday Tesla’s share price was down close to 14% as investors lost confidence.
 Weak tea.

Headline of the Day

Of Course Ted Cruz Should Be Publicly Ostracized
Ian Welsh
This is in response to the hand wringing by Washington's "Very Serious People" over protesters confronting Cruz in a restaurant.

Mr. Welsh has a very good rejoinder:
If you could have only one rule for creating a good society it would be the following:
Elites must experience the consequences of their behavior.
Making Ted Cruz's dining experiences uncomfortable is clearly an inadequate response.

When there is no accountability by the decisions made by the elites, their decisions are self interested and destructive.

28 September 2018

Back Loaded Bribery

Following years of fronting for the natural gas industry, Vicki Fuller, the former chief investment officer of the New York State Common Retirement Fund, secured a lucrative do-nothing sinecure from the Williams Companies, a major player in the energy market:
New York State’s former top pension investment officer was appointed to the board of a natural gas conglomerate after the pension system bought up the company’s bonds, rejected demands to divest from fossil fuels and supported multimillion-dollar pay packages for the company’s executives after the firm’s stock price had dropped.

Vicki Fuller was appointed as a director of The Williams Companies on July 31st — the same week she left her position as the chief investment officer of the New York State Common Retirement Fund.

The CIO job — appointed by State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli — is considered one of the world’s most powerful financial positions, directing $207 billion of investments for a system responsible for safeguarding the retirement savings of more than a million current and former state employees and their beneficiaries. Fuller will be granted $275,000 worth of salary and company stock every year for the part-time position serving on Williams’ board.

The move comes during an increasingly bitter policy debate between the comptroller’s office and environmental groups over whether the pension fund should divest itself from fossil fuel companies that contribute to climate change. In correspondence with DiNapoli over the last two months, major environmental groups have asked whether Fuller’s new position is a reward for her and DiNapoli’s ongoing opposition to selling off the fund’s fossil fuel holdings.


“Ms. Fuller’s appointment calls into question the integrity of the management of the New York State Common Retirement Funds by New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli,” wrote 30 groups to state ethics officials. “It is outrageous to us that a person can one day be CIO of the New York state pension funds and the next day take a well-compensated appointment as a board member of the corporation into which she oversaw — or even directed — large investments while helping to shield the company from an adverse divestment decision by the funds.”


The decision to launch an investigation will be up to the Joint Commission on Public Ethics, which is largely comprised of commissioners appointed by a governor who himself has ties to Williams. WNYC previously reported that a Cuomo-led political group raked in $100,000 from Williams earlier this year, and Cuomo’s own re-election campaign this year is run by a registered lobbyist for Williams who is on leave from her firm. At the same time, Williams is asking the Cuomo administration to approve a controversial pipeline that environmentalists say threatens the state’s waterways.
What is shocking about corruption in the United States is not the law-breaking, it is what is technically legal.

Breaking My Embargo of Job Talk

Generally, my rule of thumb is not do discuss my job. To do otherwise is an invitation for termination

But this one is too good.

I was talking to James, our welder, and he complained that frequently when we are half way through the project, the goals change.

I replied with the following:
Sad life.

Probably sad death.

At least there is symmetry.
Made my fucking day, it did.

Tweet of the Day

And The Princess Bride for the win!

27 September 2018


They are truly beneath contempt.

Monsanto is Killing Us All, Cuba Edition

It turns out that Cuba is having no problems with colony collapse disorder and related bee issues.

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that sanctions have kept Monsanto and its ilk out of the island nation:
Alberto Quesada loads a flatbed lorry in a field in the middle of the night for a two-hour drive to the dense mangrove swamps on the Gulf of Batabanó. “It’s important that they wake up in their new habitat,” he says of his cargo of bees. In the summer his 30,000 hive-dwellers feast on coastal flowers; in the autumn they forage on milkweed and morning glories further north. Around October it is off to the mountains, as Cuba’s trees reach their prime, before he brings the bees back to his farm about an hour’s drive from Havana. There, they have their pick of palm, mango and avocado trees, fresh vegetables—an uncommon luxury in Cuba—and a garden teeming with sunflowers, lilies and bougainvilleas. The diets of these well-travelled insects are more diverse than that of most Cubans.

It is good to be a bee in Cuba. Beekeepers elsewhere lose around 20% of their colony in the winter. Climate change, parasites, the intensification of pesticide use, urbanisation and an obsession with tidiness are causing colonies to collapse. “We mow our lawns and trim our hedges so much that there are now fewer places even for wild bees to nest,” says Norman Carreck of the British-based International Bee Research Association.
Communism has done Cuba few favours but it has proved a boon for its bees. Impoverished farmers cannot afford pesticides. A lack of modern equipment and little economic incentive to farm mean much of the island’s vegetation is wild in a way that keeps bees well nourished and produces high-quality honey.

While honey production in most countries has taken a hit along with hives, Cuba’s healthy bees have been busy. The population is growing by an average of 7,000 hives a year, each yielding around 52kg of honey in 2017, double the average from American hives. Although nine-tenths of total production, around 10,000 tonnes last year, is managed by private farmers like Mr Quesada, they are obliged to sell it to the government at a little over $600 a tonne. It is then exported, mostly to Europe, where it fetches $4,600 a tonne for ordinary honey and $14,000 for the 16% that counts as organic. Were a costly certification process not required, much more could fetch such a premium.
The modern way of farming looks set to destroy itself.

As Napoleon Said, "Never Stop Your Enemy from Stepping on His Own Dick."*

I am referring, of course, to the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing, which had Christine Blasey Ford (literally) schooling Senators on the neurology of human memory, Brett Kavanaugh raging in all of his entitled white frat boy glory, (he literally threatened Democratic Senators) and Lindsey Graham completely lost his sh%$ had a hysterical hissy fit for the ages.

Most tellingly, Ford, unlike Kavanaugh, specifically and explicitly stated that there should be an FBI investigation of the allegations, while Kavanaugh evaded the question.

Only one of them sounded like they had something to hide.

Disclosure: I did not watch the hearings, I checked out some live blogs and clips.

It was a complete sh%$ show for the Republicans.

*That is my translation from the original French of, "N'interrompez jamais un ennemi qui est en train de faire une erreur."


The trailer for the new Doctor. I am SO stoked:

26 September 2018

Tweet of the Year

I have to complement Ian Bremmer on his level of self-awareness.

Tweet of the Day

Yeah, self involved myopia does seem to be the rule for the mainstream media.

Live in Obedient Fear, Citizen!

It appears that, in violation of California law, police are using disappearing message apps so that there will be no proper record of their misdeeds:
In a disturbing trend, government officials and police departments have been thwarting public oversight by using communications apps that automatically delete messages.

The latest example comes from Southern California, where an investigation by Al Jazeera and the ACLU of Southern California revealed last week that the Long Beach Police Department was using an app called TigerText to send self-erasing messages. The department’s effort to subvert transparency appears to have been intentional: Supervisors were instructing officers to use the app whenever they wanted to keep potentially damaging information secret — including in cases of police killings.

The LBPD’s decision to systematically destroy communications is an outrageous violation of California’s public records laws and the legal obligation to preserve records that could come up both in criminal cases and civil rights lawsuits against the department. And this decision — made by the police department in the city ranked the 13th deadliest in the nation for police killing — is also a glaring example of the mindset of impunity that prevails in some police departments.
We really need a Federal law enforcement agency which is single tasked with policing the police.

And Another Shoe Drops

Yesterday, I mentioned another allegation against Kavanaugh, and now we have a given-under-oath statement from Julie Swetnick about Kavanaugh about drunken parties at which girls were raped:
On the eve of a critical Senate hearing that could decide the fate of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, a third woman came forward to accuse him of sexual misconduct in the early 1980s even as partisan anger deepened on both sides.

The revelations shocked Capitol Hill, where Republican lawmakers are seeking to advance a nomination that legal scholars and lawmakers say could cement a conservative majority.

Judge Kavanaugh’s judicial elevation, once expected to move smoothly through the Senate, now hangs on the votes of a handful of GOP senators who said they were troubled by the late-breaking claims. Sens. Jeff Flake of Arizona, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska all said they would determine their votes after Thursday’s Senate Judiciary Committee hearing.


On Wednesday, Ms. Swetnick issued a sworn statement, made public in a tweet by attorney Michael Avenatti, alleging that between 1981 and 1982, she became aware of efforts by Judge Kavanaugh and his high-school friend, Mark Judge, to “ ‘spike’ the ‘punch’ ” at house parties she attended with drugs “and/or grain alcohol” and “target” women.


Ms. Swetnick claimed she attended more than 10 house parties in the Washington area between 1981 and 1983 with Judge Kavanaugh and Mr. Judge, and saw them “drink excessively and engage in highly inappropriate conduct, including being overly aggressive with girls” and grabbing them “without their consent.”

She said that in 1982, she was drugged and raped by a group of boys, and said Messrs. Kavanugh and Judge were “present” when she was victimized. She said witnesses could verify her account and that she told people about the attack shortly after it happened.

She also said she had a “firm recollection” that at these house parties, boys lined up outside rooms “waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room,” and that those boys included Judge Kavanaugh and Mr. Judge.
And now we have a 4th accusation, this one from 1998, when Kavanaugh was in his mid-30s, but apparently was still a drunk who abuses women: (He's probably got a gambling problem)
The Senate Judiciary Committee inquired about at least one additional allegation of misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, according to a transcript of a phone call released by the committee Wednesday.

Republican Senate investigators asked Kavanaugh about the new complaint during a call on Tuesday between Kavanaugh and committee staff.


The anonymous complaint that was sent to Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, claimed that Kavanaugh physically assaulted a woman he socialized with in the Washington, D.C., area in 1998 while he was inebriated.

The sender of the complaint described an evening involving her own daughter, Kavanaugh and several friends in 1998.

“When they left the bar (under the influence of alcohol) they were all shocked when Brett Kavanaugh, shoved her friend up against the wall very aggressively and sexually.”

“There were at least four witnesses including my daughter.” The writer of the letter provided no names but said the alleged victim was still traumatized and had decided to remain anonymous herself.
It's pretty clear that ¾ of the Republicans in the Senate would be willing to vote for Kavanaugh if he were to rape a page on Mitch McConnell's desk, but it's also clear that they are going to pay for this bullsh%$.

And now the Republicans are trying to roll out a woman prosecutor to do their dirty work at the hearing tomorrow.

25 September 2018

Want Some Cheese with that Whine?

FCC Chairman, and spokes model for corruption, Ajit Pai is very upset at California's new (pretty weak tea) net neutrality rules:

California's attempt to enforce net neutrality rules is "illegal" and "poses a risk to the rest of the country," Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said in a speech on Friday.

Pai's remarks drew an immediate rebuke from California Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco), who authored the net neutrality bill that passed California's legislature and now awaits the signature of Governor Jerry Brown.

California's net neutrality rules are "necessary and legal because Chairman Pai abdicated his responsibility to ensure an open Internet," Wiener said in a press release.

"Unlike Pai's FCC, California isn't run by the big telecom and cable companies," Wiener also said. "Pai can take whatever potshots at California he wants. The reality is that California is the world's innovation capital, and unlike the crony capitalism promoted by the Trump administration, California understands exactly what it takes to foster an open innovation economy with a level playing field."
Would someone please take that big coffee mug and shove it up his ass?

Without lube preferred.

Live in Obedient Fear, Citizen!

Documents obtained by the ACLU of Montana and reviewed by the Guardian have renewed concerns from civil rights advocates about the government’s treatment of indigenous activists known as water protectors.

Notably, one record revealed that authorities hosted a recent “anti-terrorism” training session in Montana. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency also organized a “field force operations” training to teach “mass-arrest procedures”, “riot-control formations” and other “crowd-control methods”.

A US justice department intelligence specialist told the Guardian the terrorism training was an annual presentation not specific to Keystone. But the ACLU noted that its records request was specifically about the pipeline protests, suggesting that authorities considered the session relevant to Keystone preparation.


“Treating protest as terrorism is highly problematic,” said German, noting that the US government has long labeled activism as “terrorism”, once claiming that filing public records requests was an “extremist” tactic. “It’s an effective way of suppressing protest activity and creating an enormous burden for people who want to go out and express their concerns.”

The “terrorist” and “extremist” labels can be used to justify brutality and a militarized operation, said Andrea Carter, an attorney with the Water Protector Legal Collective, a group that has represented Standing Rock defendants.
It should be noted that this all occurred under the Obama administration.

Do you think hat it would better or worse under Trump?

Time for Another Blogger Ethics Panel

CNN had an interview with "Typical female Republicans," and ((big surprise) they are all actually highly tied in party activists.

It's kind of like asking Josef Stalin about the Holodmor:
This CNN panel of "Republican women voters" was a massive fail, as we've pointed out over the weekend. We now have a guide to each of the women on the panel and who they actually are.

And yes, the consensus is that CNN failed all journalistic standards in this segment. But I would argue their standards are about "both sides," not journalism, and in that respect they acted completely according to plan.

This segment is pure propaganda worthy of Fox News, and it's more pernicious because we are expected to think of CNN as the "unbiased" one. CNN is forever desperate to bring a "both sides" angle to every issue for "balance," but by insisting that the side that excuses sexual assault must have a place at the table, they legitimize rape culture rather than bring balance to the discussion.

As I have said many times, "Both Siderism" picks a side, and it is the side that lies and cheats that always wins in a both-sider argument.

And CNN was so desperate to have a pro-Kavanaugh segment that they formed a panel of "average Republican women voters" made up of easily discoverable Republican paid operatives and political candidates. I think the term is "crisis actor." Heh.
The panel of 5 women includes 3 candidates, 2 party officials, a major Ted Cruz donor, and a Fox News regular.

It's like the the "Rent-a-Crowd" outside of the American Embassy in Tehran in 1979.

24 September 2018

Always Look on the Bright Side of Life

I mentioned that there were some unalloyed benefits of the entire Brett Kavanaugh debacle.

There are two immediate benefits that come to mind, first, this spectacle has reminded people how hapless/complicit that Joe Biden was in the confirmation hearings of Clarence Thomas 25 years ago:
In the past week, it’s been hard to flip on cable news without hearing the name Anita Hill. And that’s not good for Joe Biden, who’s thinking of running for president in 2020.

“This is going to educate who is under the age of 35 and may not have grown up knowing Joe Biden’s role in all of this,” said a Democratic strategist who requested anonymity to speak candidly.

It’s been 27 years since the law professor electrified the nation with her testimony about the sexual harassment she faced from Clarence Thomas, who was then up for confirmation to the Supreme Court.

That hearing was widely considered a disaster, a textbook case of how not to treat a woman who comes forward. Republican senators went after Hill and tried to make her seem like a liar, a mentally ill person and a spiteful jilted lover. But Democrats held the majority at the time, and Biden, then a senator from Delaware, was the chairman of Senate Judiciary Committee and, more than anyone else, could determine the direction and parameters of the discussion.

In 1991, most significantly, Biden did not call three other witnesses to testify who could have strengthened Hill’s allegations. But in other ways, too, Hill said she felt like she was left out to dry, without an ally on the committee.

“Most evident from the televised Judiciary Committee hearings was the fact that I sat in that hearing room without a patron on the panel. That image still resonates,” she wrote in a 1995 essay.

From the beginning, Biden said he recognized that Hill’s allegations against Thomas were “a giant incendiary bomb.” But he didn’t act like they were, according to Jane Mayer and Jill Abramson, who wrote Strange Justice, a thorough book about the Thomas confirmation battle.
This is good because if 2016 taught us anything, it is that septuagenarian defenders of the status quo are not good news for the party or the country.

Even if you want a centrist squish, it's clear that we need someone who can credibly present themselves as an agent of change.

The other good news is that Susan Collins has finally been forced to reveal that her moderation is a myth, because when the vote is important and close, she will always vote with Republicans:
The campaign has also substantially weakened Collins. Recent polling from Public Policy Polling puts Collins’ approval underwater (35 percent approve, 48 percent disapprove) and finds that 48 percent of Mainers are opposed to confirming Kavanaugh. Even more importantly, the polling finds that 53 percent of Mainers say that Collins’ handling of the Kavanaugh nomination has made them view her less favorably, while only 19 percent view her more favorably. Last year, the same pollster found her at 59 percent approval and 34 percent disapproval. Just this week, Wall Street Journal polling suggests that support for Kavanaugh’s nomination has slipped dramatically, with 38 percent of registered voters opposing his nomination, a surge from 29 percent opposed a month ago (only 34 percent support him, with the remaining 28 percent undecided). Among women, 28 percent favor the nomination and 42 percent oppose.
It would be a very good thing if this ended her career.

The Goal of Privatization is Not Efficiency, It's Larceny

Case in point, Iowa, where a timid Obama administration allowed the Republicans there to privatize medicaid, and the rate of cost increases have tripled:
The average cost of insuring an Iowan on Medicaid has climbed nearly three times as fast since the state hired private companies to manage the program, when compared to the previous six years, new state figures show.

Since fiscal 2017, the first full year of privatization, the per-member cost of Iowa's Medicaid program has risen an average of 4.4 percent per year, according to the non-partisan Legislative Services Agency. In the previous six years, the per-member cost rose an average of 1.5 percent per year, the agency said.

The new cost figures come amid continuing controversy over whether Iowa should have hired private companies to run the $5 billion program. The shift’s supporters said it would slow growth in health care spending on the more than 600,000 poor or disabled Iowans covered by Medicaid.


The Medicaid cost increases for this fiscal year are partly driven by an 8.4 percent raise the Iowa Department of Human Services agreed last month to give the two managed-care companies running the program. That raise, which includes state and federal tax dollars, will send $344 million more to Amerigroup and United Healthcare this fiscal year, which runs through June 2019.
Anyone want to guess how much of those increases get recycled through to campaign donations?

From the Sublime to the Ridiculous

And his roommate too
I am, of course, referring to Brett Kavanaugh and his Evil Minions.

First, we have another allegation of sexual assault while drunk, this one at Yale:
As Senate Republicans press for a swift vote to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court, Senate Democrats are investigating a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh. The claim dates to the 1983-84 academic school year, when Kavanaugh was a freshman at Yale University. The offices of at least four Democratic senators have received information about the allegation, and at least two have begun investigating it. Senior Republican staffers also learned of the allegation last week and, in conversations with The New Yorker, expressed concern about its potential impact on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Soon after, Senate Republicans issued renewed calls to accelerate the timing of a committee vote. The Democratic Senate offices reviewing the allegations believe that they merit further investigation. “This is another serious, credible, and disturbing allegation against Brett Kavanaugh. It should be fully investigated,” Senator Mazie Hirono, of Hawaii, said. An aide in one of the other Senate offices added, “These allegations seem credible, and we’re taking them very seriously. If established, they’re clearly disqualifying.”

The woman at the center of the story, Deborah Ramirez, who is fifty-three, attended Yale with Kavanaugh, where she studied sociology and psychology. Later, she spent years working for an organization that supports victims of domestic violence. The New Yorker contacted Ramirez after learning of her possible involvement in an incident involving Kavanaugh. The allegation was conveyed to Democratic senators by a civil-rights lawyer. For Ramirez, the sudden attention has been unwelcome, and prompted difficult choices. She was at first hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident. In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty. After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away. Ramirez is now calling for the F.B.I. to investigate Kavanaugh’s role in the incident. “I would think an F.B.I. investigation would be warranted,” she said.


Ramirez acknowledged that there are significant gaps in her memories of the evening, and that, if she ever presents her story to the F.B.I. or members of the Senate, she will inevitably be pressed on her motivation for coming forward after so many years, and questioned about her memory, given her drinking at the party.

And yet, after several days of considering the matter carefully, she said, “I’m confident about the pants coming up, and I’m confident about Brett being there.” Ramirez said that what has stayed with her most forcefully is the memory of laughter at her expense from Kavanaugh and the other students. “It was kind of a joke,” she recalled. “And now it’s clear to me it wasn’t a joke.”
Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer have not been able to find a witness, but they have been able to someone who says that, "Another student told him about the incident either on the night of the party or in the next day or two. The classmate said that he is “one-hundred-per-cent sure” that he was told at the time that Kavanaugh was the student who exposed himself to Ramirez. He independently recalled many of the same details offered by Ramirez, including that a male student had encouraged Kavanaugh as he exposed himself."

And do we have one person on the record, albeit with (contemporaneous) hearsay, as well as her family:
Another classmate, Richard Oh, an emergency-room doctor in California, recalled overhearing, soon after the party, a female student tearfully recounting to another student an incident at a party involving a gag with a fake penis, followed by a male student exposing himself. Oh is not certain of the identity of the female student. Ramirez told her mother and sister about an upsetting incident at the time, but did not describe the details to either due to her embarrassment.
I should note that this is not limited to just the revelation, it appears that he and his friends used their senior yearbook to slut shame a woman at a nearby school, and there is absolute confirmation of this:
Brett Kavanaugh’s page in his high school yearbook offers a glimpse of the teenage years of the man who is now President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee: lots of football, plenty of drinking, parties at the beach. Among the reminiscences about sports and booze is a mysterious entry: “Renate Alumnius.”

The word “Renate” appears at least 14 times in Georgetown Preparatory School’s 1983 yearbook, on individuals’ pages and in a group photo of nine football players, including Judge Kavanaugh, who were described as the “Renate Alumni.” It is a reference to Renate Schroeder, then a student at a nearby Catholic girls’ school.

Two of Judge Kavanaugh’s classmates say the mentions of Renate were part of the football players’ unsubstantiated boasting about their conquests.

“They were very disrespectful, at least verbally, with Renate,” said Sean Hagan, a Georgetown Prep student at the time, referring to Judge Kavanaugh and his teammates. “I can’t express how disgusted I am with them, then and now.”
You will note that the "Fourth of July" has 6 extra "F"s. This stands for, "Find them, French them, Feel them, Finger them, F%$# them, Forget them."

And finally, for Kavanaugh anyway, we have allegations of alcohol soaked parties where people pulled a train on a drunk girl.

But it isn't just Kavanaugh, but also his friends, the Bobsey Twins of Yale Law School, Amy Chua and her husband Jed Rubenfeld.

I had already mentioned reports that Chua had advised her students that Kavanaugh wanted his clerks to look like models, which she has denied, bit now some of her former students are calling her a liar:
But another former law student who was advised by Chua and approached the Guardian after its original story was published on Thursday said his experience was consistent with the allegations presented in the article.

The male student, who asked not to be identified, said that when he approached Chua about his interest in clerking for Kavanaugh, the professor said it was “great”, but then added that Kavanaugh “tends to hire women who are generally attractive and then likes to send them to [supreme court Chief Justice John] Roberts”.

It was a reference to Kavanaugh’s role as a so-called “feeder” judge, whose clerks often go on to win highly coveted clerkships at the US supreme court.

The student alleged that Chua then added: “I don’t think it is a sexual thing, but [Kavanaugh] likes to have pretty clerks.”

The former student told the Guardian that in the following year, he advised two female classmates who were also interested in clerking for Kavanaugh to talk to Chua.

“They got the same advice: ‘He likes girls who are pretty’,” the student said. “Another girl … she got the same advice, and [Chua told her] to wear heels.”

Meanwhile, the allegations against Rubenfeld sound a lot like Kavanaugh's freshman year:

And apparently the school’s been worried about Jed Rubenfeld for some time.

We can now report that Yale has been conducting an internal investigation into harassment and inappropriate conduct allegations concerning Professor Rubenfeld. The law school will neither confirm nor deny the existence of the investigation, but a letter that went out to Yale Law School Alumni over the summer confirms that the investigation is ongoing.
“YLS has hired an outside investigator to look into Professor Rubenfeld’s conduct, and folks should reach out to her if they have something to share. The sooner the better, and it’s possible to talk to her in ways that preserve anonymity (see details below). The investigator’s name is Jenn Davis, and she can be reached at: [Redacted]

More details:

YLS seems to be pretty concerned about what it’s been hearing about Professor Rubenfeld’s conduct, especially (but not solely) with respect to female students. This is conduct that seems to date back decades but that has persisted into the just-concluded school year. YLS has hired an outside investigator, Jenn Davis, to try to put together a more comprehensive account of that conduct and its effects on the environment at YLS. One Dean Gerken receives this account, a determination will be made about what steps to take with respect to remedies.

Scope and process: Jenn’s jurisdiction is over issues regarding female students as well as other types of behaviors that have given rise to concern over the years. It seems she’s been tasked with understanding whether Professor Rubenfeld contributes to a hostile environment for students, generally. There is an understanding that certain behaviors might well not be unique to him or to YLS, but that does not make them OK.

More specifically, it seems Jenn is interested in hearing about, among other things:
  • Disparate treatment of, or boundary crossing with, women in the YLS community. She is interested in hearing from subjects of, or witnesses to, that treatment. (E.g., comments about female students’ physical appearances or relationship histories, conversations that seem designed to “test the waters,” intimidation or efforts at manipulation targeted at female students, etc.).
  • Conduct related to excessive drinking with students (driving with students while drunk, etc.).
  • Inappropriate employment practices relating to RAs or Coker Fellows.
  • Retaliation against students who do not show sufficient loyalty.
Anonymity: YLS has given Jenn permission to talk to individuals (students, alums, etc.), and to record (or not) what they have to say, at whatever level of anonymity the individuals feel comfortable with. There are opportunities to aggregate accounts, to speak completely off the record, etc. Obviously, the more detail that Jenn can ultimately pass along, the more useful her report will be, but any accounts that help her get a better sense of the environment at YLS will add value. If you are interested in reaching out to her, you can set up a preliminary call just to talk about procedure, if you would like. You can also change your mind at any point about the level of anonymity at which you provide information; she has said that even for people who agree to have their name or identifying information used, she will circle back to confirm before sharing it. There is enormous flexibility here. That said, the one thing Jenn cannot offer is attorney-client privilege; if her records are ultimately subpoenaed, she could fight the subpoena, but can’t guarantee she would win.

Jenn herself: She has worked on investigations at graduate and undergraduate programs at peer schools, and she seems to recognize the complexities of, and common dynamics within, these types of environments. [Redacted] has spoken with her already and would be happy to speak with anyone who wants to know more.

Moreover, Yale Law alumni tell us that Rubenfeld’s behavior towards women was an “open secret” within the Yale Law community. The allegations of “boundary crossing” mentioned in the email have been repeated to us via anonymous emails, texts, and DMs from alumni that are known to us but do not want to go on the record until the investigation is complete. There are even public tweets which seem to speak to these matters, if you know what you are looking for.
Davis is a Title IX investigator of some note, so it's pretty clear what the bulk of allegations are about, and given that we have reports that, "Rubenfeld apparently warned a student to avoid working for two judges: Alex Kozinski, and Brett Kavanaugh," it is not a stretch to conclude that Kavanaugh's office was a hostile workplace, though hopefully not quite as bad as Kosinski, whose behavior towards women led to a forced retirement.

It does appear that, in addition to the obvious pain that this is causing for bad people Kavanaugh is  ……… Kavanaugh, Rubenfeld's writings show an antediluvian attitudes toward sexual harassment and assault, and, if her book Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother is any indication, Chua makes Joan Crawford look like Barbara Billingsly, there are some positive consequences for the rest of us about all of this, which I will get into later.

Ironically, Mueller is Cleaning Up the Swamp

Specifically, another lobbyist is under investigation for failure to register as a foreign lobbyist, and this one is a former Obama administration official.

Here's hoping that this unlubricates the bearings of that old revolving door:
Federal prosecutors have stepped up their investigation of prominent Washington attorney Gregory Craig for work he conducted at his former law firm on behalf of the Ukrainian government in 2012, an effort coordinated by Paul Manafort, according to people familiar with the matter.

Shortly before Manafort pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy and obstruction this month, attorneys for Craig received requests for information from prosecutors in the Southern District of New York, who are investigating Craig’s activities as an offshoot of the broader probe led by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, according to one person with knowledge of the exchange.

Craig’s case — and that of two Washington lobbyists who worked with Manafort on Ukrainian matters — were referred last April to New York prosecutors, who appear to be focused on whether the three failed to register as foreign agents while working with Manafort’s Ukrainian clients.


Still, the investigation of Craig — a White House counsel for President Barack Obama — along with lobbyists Vin Weber and Tony Podesta, has shaken Washington’s lobbying and legal community, which until recently had faced little scrutiny of its representation of foreign clients.

“There is a rising level of concern, particularly from law firms providing services to foreign governments,” said Joshua Ian Rosenstein, an expert on foreign lobbying registration compliance at the Sandler Reiff law firm.

I want these motherf%$#ers to be terrified.

Even if it only effects their behaviors with foreign clients, it would be nice to see the House of Saud losing influence in DC.

23 September 2018

How do you spell RICO?

That part is not a surprise, but the specifics, that they colluded with ticket scalpers in order to raise the price of the tickets:
Music fans’ ire toward Ticketmaster for expensive concert tickets may be somewhat justified, according to a fiery investigation by CBC News and the Toronto Star on Wednesday detailing a secret scalping scheme run by the ticket sales company itself. The two outlets sent journalists undercover as scalpers to a live entertainment convention this summer, where Ticketmaster reportedly pitched them on its underground professional resale program, through which it takes a cut of profits.

Ticketmaster, which is owned by live entertainment juggernaut Live Nation, enlists resellers to grab batches of tickets from its site and then flip them for higher prices on a Ticketmaster-owned, invite-only platform called TradeDesk (touted by the company as “The most powerful ticket sales tool. Ever”), according to the report. Ticketmaster gets extra fees from the pricier resale tickets on top of its fees from selling the original ticket. CBC and Toronto Star journalists were told that despite the existence of a Ticketmaster “buyer abuse” division that looks for suspicious online activity in ticket sales, the company turns a blind eye to its TradeDesk users. A sales representative told one of the undercover journalists that there are brokers with “literally a couple of hundred accounts” on TradeDesk, and that it’s “not something that we look at or report.”

Ticketmaster has sued groups in the past for using bots to grab up live events tickets from its site, which prompted counterclaims that Ticketmaster was itself supplying scalpers with bot software — which, per this week’s investigation, TradeDesk appears to be doing. “This is going to be a public relations nightmare,” popular Canadian radio program host Alan Cross told CBC upon seeing the findings, noting of previous “whispers of this in the ticket-selling community, but it’s never been outlined quite like this before.”
I knew that Ticketmaster sucked, but this sucks like a thousand hoovers all running at once.

Seriously, if someone at the DoJ's antitrust division wants to hit some low-hanging fruit, this kind of crap is clearly out of line, even by the standards of the, "Strict Constructionist," judges who hate antitrust enforcement.

Schwer zu Sein a Yid*

It is so much fun to assemble a sukkah in the pouring rain.

At least I did not fall off of the step stool and dash my brains out on the patio.

*Yiddish for, "It's tough to be a Jew."

The Internet of Sh%$

Internet connected appliances are a f%$#ing menace.

22 September 2018

Hint: It's called pay, benefits, and job security

Aviation Week & Space Technology is wringing its hands over the shortage of Aviation and Defense (A&D) workers.

Given that there is little job security, and pay and benefits have been declining for years, it's not surprising that people are loathe to enter the field:
Uncle Sam’s contractors want you—and your sons and daughters. And at this rate, they could be eyeing the family dog. But perhaps they should expand their search.

From 737 gliders parked around the Seattle area to a $2.5 billion merger and acquisition (M&A) among Beltway Bandits orbiting Washington, headlines in the aerospace and defense sector lately have been replete with examples of workforce constraints manifesting in money terms. What is more, the Pentagon soon will unveil a review of the defense industrial base (DIB) that will spotlight concerns over talent recruitment and retainment.

The need for more technology-oriented workers and the difficulty in getting them is the talk of industry. Just this month, word came that Boeing was rehiring some of its retirees to help alleviate 737 production issues.


At the Farnborough Airshow in July, senior executives pondered how to recruit talent, especially managers, from other industries such as automotive. “Discussions at the air show confirmed concern about supporting an upturn in activity with the correct personnel in this competitive hiring environment,” ZRG’s report notes. The traditional approach of recruiting from the same sector has huge limitations, it was noted.

But Foster tells Aviation Week that the truism “Companies do not want to spend the time or money training new workers” ultimately holds for upper management as well as the factory floor. Everybody wants you to already know their industry, their company, she says.

Also, companies want managers in 45-55-year-old range, she says. Seasoned, but with growth potential. However, there is a deficit in that age range because not a lot of prime candidates were entering then. At the same time, older workers are eyeing the exits. “If there was ever a time to retire, it is now.” For starters, look at the stock markets. Besides, it can be increasingly hard to live a high-travel business life, Foster notes.
You spend 30 years sucking the marrow out of your workforce, and then you are surprised when your workforce goes away.

Modern American MBA mismanagement.

Saw a Toothpick Dispenser Tonight

I was in a restaurant, and there it was, right next to the cash register.

Discretion being the only part of valor here, I did not try to check out how it worked.

Made me think of my dad, and a family story.

Let's just say that this 14 year old had some serious egg on his face.

21 September 2018

Think About this at Pledge Time

NPR's Morning Edition chooses think tank experts of a seriously right wing bent.

I am not surprised.

It is the rule, rather than the exception, that they choose a right wing flack to discuss the issues of the day with a studiously impartial journalist.

That, and their jihad against low power radio stations, are both good reasons not to give at pledge time.

Quote of the Day

It is hard to overstate how deeply these Americans despise the Obama response to the 2008 financial crisis. Many saw the values of their homes, the largest investments they will ever make, dramatically decrease. They don’t own much stock outside of flaccid IRAs, and so they benefited little from a recovery that first bailed out Wall Street. Obama’s decisions still aren’t done with them 10 years later, because their retirements are dependent on home prices rising enough so downsizing sales can cover them late in life.
Peter Van Buren
It is an interesting take on why the so called, "Deplorables," support for Trump is so resilient.

The conventional wisdom does not serve them, so they want to burn it all down.

And Kavanaugh is Now a Regular on The Young and the Restless

And now we have a right wing stalwart, Harvard Law and former Bush Administration official, claiming that there is a doppelgänger what actually tried to rape Christine Blasey Ford.

It appears that either Republican operatives are so stupid that they believe that the real world works like Telenovellas, or they think that the rest of us are even stupider than that,


Too cute:

20 September 2018

Tweet of the Day

Economics is not the dismal science, it's just dismal.

Fort Trump???? Seriously

Yes, the Poles want a permanent US base in Poland, and as a sweetener, they offered to name the base after Donald Trump.

It's a pretty lame and obvious kiss ass move, but it will probably work:
President Donald Trump said the U.S. is looking “very seriously” at establishing a permanent military base in Poland -- and Polish President Andrzej Duda, eager to secure a deal, suggested it be named “Fort Trump.”

Trump raised the possibility of a new U.S. base in Poland in a meeting with Duda in the Oval Office on Tuesday. He said at a news conference with the Polish leader that Duda had offered to pay more than $2 billion toward construction.

Also Yes

It appears that people screening Brett Kavanaugh's potential law clerks, spoecifically Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother author Amy Chua and her husband Jed Rubenfeld, both of Yale Law School, advised women who applied to clerk for Brett Kavanaugh to try to look like models:
A top professor at Yale Law School who strongly endorsed supreme court nominee Brett Kavanaugh as a “mentor to women” privately told a group of law students last year that it was “not an accident” that Kavanaugh’s female law clerks all “looked like models” and would provide advice to students about their physical appearance if they wanted to work for him, the Guardian has learned.

Amy Chua, a Yale professor who wrote a bestselling book on parenting called Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother, was known for instructing female law students who were preparing for interviews with Kavanaugh on ways they could dress to exude a “model-like” femininity to help them win a post in Kavanaugh’s chambers, according to sources.

Kavanaugh is facing intense scrutiny in Washington following an allegation made by Christine Blasey Ford that he forcibly held her down and groped her while they were in high school. He has denied the allegation. The accusation has mired Kavanaugh’s confirmation in controversy, drawing parallels to allegations of sexual harassment against Justice Clarence Thomas by Anita Hill in the 1990s.

Yale provided Kavanaugh with many of the judge’s clerks over the years, and Chua played an outsized role in vetting the clerks who worked for him. But the process made some students deeply uncomfortable.

One source said that in at least one case, a law student was so put off by Chua’s advice about how she needed to look, and its implications, that she decided not to pursue a clerkship with Kavanaugh, a powerful member of the judiciary who had a formal role in vetting clerks who served in the US supreme court.

In one case, Jed Rubenfeld, also an influential professor at Yale and who is married to Chua, told a prospective clerk that Kavanaugh liked a certain “look”.

“He told me, ‘You should know that Judge Kavanaugh hires women with a certain look,’” one woman told the Guardian. “He did not say what the look was and I did not ask.”
It turns out that Chua and Rubenfeld are, "Towering figures at Yale and were described by one student as being the centre of gravity at the elite law school," and also, "The Guardian has learned that Rubenfeld is currently the subject of an internal investigation at Yale. The investigation is focused on Rubenfeld’s conduct, particularly with female law students." (Karma, neh?)

Well, now we know why Yale reflexively endorsed Kavanaugh when Trump nominated him, the law school hip deep in his sh%$.

19 September 2018

Your Kavanaugh Update

First, we have a report from a classmate of Christine Blasey Ford's who recalled this incident being discussed contemporaneously:
A former schoolmate of Brett Kavanaugh’s accuser wrote a Facebook post saying she recalls hearing about the alleged assault involving Kavanaugh, though she says she has no first-hand information to corroborate the accuser’s claims.

"Christine Blasey Ford was a year or so behind me," wrote the woman, Cristina Miranda King, who now works as a performing arts curator in Mexico City. "I did not know her personally but I remember her. This incident did happen."

She added, "Many of us heard a buzz about it indirectly with few specific details. However Christine's vivid recollection should be more than enough for us to truly, deeply know that the accusation is true."
She has since deleted her tweet, but there is still a Google Cache copy:

Additionally, we have a report that people who have worked with him in the court want to come forward, but they are concerned about retaliations:
The top Republican and Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee were both approached in July by an attorney claiming to have information relevant to the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. The attorney claimed in his letter that multiple employees of the federal judiciary would be willing to speak to investigators, but received no reply to multiple attempts to make contact, he told The Intercept.

Cyrus Sanai made his first attempt to reach out to Sens. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, and Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., in a letter dated July 24.

Sanai told the committee leadership that “there are persons who work for, or who have worked for, the federal judiciary who have important stories to tell about disgraced former Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, and his mentee, current United States Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. I know that there are people who wish to speak out but fear retaliation because I have been contacted by more than a half-dozen such persons since Judge Kozinski resigned in disgrace.”

Sanai is the California attorney who blew the whistle on Kozinski years before a series of articles in the Washington Post in December finally brought about the resignation of the former chief judge of the 9th Circuit Court over sexual harassment revelations. Sanai has long challenged the judiciary and was deemed a “vexatious litigant” by one trial court, an attempted designation that was overturned on appeal.
It appears that Feinstein* was a willing participant in efforts to brush this under the carpet, which is yet another reason to vote for her Democratic opponent in November.

It also appears that Trump's claim that the FBI can't probe Kavanaugh because the statute of limitations have expired is complete bollocks.

So says John Yoo, who appears to be making a statement against his own interest, which makes his analysis more credible.

Yoo is a former a lawyer from the Bush-the-younger administration, who among other things argued for an unlimited Presidential power to torture:
The White House could order the FBI to investigate the sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, several former senior White House and Justice Department officials from both parties said Wednesday, contradicting President Donald Trump’s claims that doing so would exceed the FBI’s mandate.


But several officials who have had direct roles in the nomination and background check process said it’s common, as part of the FBI’s vetting of presidential nominees for judicial posts and executive branch jobs, to investigate matters that do not qualify as federal crimes. Some noted that the Trump White House itself enlisted the FBI last winter to explore spousal abuse claims against former White House Staff Secretary Rob Porter.

“What happened here is actually not unusual,” said John Yoo, a senior Justice Department official under President George W. Bush. 

“The Judiciary Committee will often say to the Justice Department: ‘Can you send the agents back out and find out if this is true, find out what happened with this? ... The normal procedure for this would have been to send the FBI out,” Yoo added.

A former Obama administration lawyer also said the FBI would look into the matter if the White House relayed such a request.

“If the FBI was asked to do it, it would do it,” said the attorney, who asked not to be named. “It doesn’t have to be a federal crime. They’ve investigating someone’s suitability for the position. ... It has nothing to do with it being a federal crime.”
There is a very heavy smell of desperation here.

*Full disclosure, my great grandfather, Harry Goldman, and her grandfather, Sam Goldman were brothers, though we have never met, either in person or electronically.
California jungle primary, don't you know. 

What is it About the Ammosexual Lifestyle?

Cody Wilson, who is attempting to release plans for 3D printed guns, has been charged with sex with a minor.

What's more, it appears that solicited her on a web site geared toward this sort of sh%$?

I don't mean to get Freudian, but this sh%$ is seriously Freudian.
2:30 p.m. update: Austin police are working with international authorities to bring Cody Wilson, an Austin man at the center of a debate about 3D-printed guns, back to the country from Taiwan to face a sexual assault charge filed in Travis County on Wednesday.

Wilson’s last known location was the Taiwanese capital of Taipei, Austin police Cmdr. Troy Officer said.

Wilson missed a scheduled flight back to the United States and is thought to have left the country after a friend of the 16-year-old sexual assault victim told him that police were investigating him, Officer said.

Police do not know why Wilson went to Taiwan, only that he frequently travels there for business, Officer said.

Wilson has been entered into a national law enforcement computer for sexual assault of a child, Officer said.

Earlier: Cody Wilson, an Austin man whose fight over 3D-printed guns thrust him into the national spotlight, faces a charge of sexual assault, according to an arrest affidavit filed in Travis County district court on Wednesday.

The affidavit said a counselor called Austin police on Aug. 22 to report that a girl under the age of 17 told her she had sex with a 30-year-old man on Aug. 15 and was paid $500.

In a forensic interview on Aug. 27, the girl told authorities that she created an account on SugarDaddyMeet.com, and began exchanging messages with a man who used the username “Sanjuro,” the affidavit said.

The pair messaged online, then began exchanging text messages.

“During this conversation, ‘Sanjuro’ identified himself as ‘Cody Wilson.’ Victim said that ‘Sanjuro’ described himself to the victim as a ‘big deal,’ ” the affidavit said.
This is both appalling and unsurprising.

I Had a Lousy Fast

Sometimes, it goes well, and sometimes it doesn't.

This year, my Yom Kippur fast was absolutely miserable.

No medical problems, but it was just miserable.

17 September 2018

Phuque Phacebook

In the annals of stupid sh%$ to come from Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook using The Weekly Standard to fact check articles is right up there with home colonoscopy kits: (No, Zuckerberg has never to my knowledge invested in home colonoscopy kits)
When Facebook selected the right-wing, Iraq War-boosting magazine The Weekly Standard [DO NOT CLICK THRU ON THIS LINK] as an official fact-checking partner last year as part of its effort to combat "misinformation," progressives warned that the conservative publication would use its power to suppress accurate articles published by center-left and left-wing outlets.

That's precisely what happened.

After ThinkProgress published an article by Ian Millhiser last week arguing that Supreme Court pick Brett Kavanaugh's comments during his Senate confirmation hearings combined with a speech he gave in 2017 eliminates "any doubt" that the judge opposes the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade, the Weekly Standard deemed the article "false"—a designation that, given Facebook's rules and the platform's enormous power, cuts off 80 percent of the piece's future traffic and penalizes other pages that dare to post the article.

Expressing opposition to Facebook's decision to hand the factually-challenged Weekly Standard the power to decide what is and isn't fact-based news, The Intercept republished Millhiser's piece on Friday with a statement from The Intercept's editor-in-chief Betsy Reed, who condemned the social media giant's decision to tank "a fairly straightforward legal analysis" at the behest of a right-wing magazine.
By way of perspective, the Weekly Standard gave full throated support to segregation in the 1950s and 60s, and Facebook has made them arbiters of "Truth".

Way to go Mark.

Tweet of the Day

And now we know how she lost to an inverted traffic cone.

Find Me a Producer, I've Got one F%$# of a Treatment

It is, as the saying goes, ripped from the headlines.

It's the best heist movie concept, and in this case, the headline is that, in response to Brexit concerns, Cadbury creating a massive stockpile of chocolate:
Britain is scheduled to leave the European Union next year, but it still hasn’t reached a deal on how exactly this could happen. If it leaves Europe without a deal, some experts have warned that there may be chaos at the borders and a shortage of key goods.

On Tuesday, the owner of the beloved confectionary brand Cadbury announced that the company has a plan to deal with the threat of this dreaded “no-deal” Brexit: a chocolate stockpile.
Think about the action, think about the adventure, think about the tension, and think about the merch that you could sell.

Before you ask, I am aware that an actual sweet food stockpile has been stolen, the so-called great Canadian maple syrup heist, but that just adds verisimilitude.

And just think about the obligatory love making scene between the mastermind and the cop who has been pursuing them.

Chocolate ……… And Strawberries ……… And Gentle Heat.

I smell razzie!

16 September 2018

We Now Have a Name

Christine Blasey Ford is the source of the allegation that Brett Kavanaugh attempted to rape her in the early 1980s.

Of particular significance is that she told both her husband and her therapist (she has authorized the release of his records) of the incident in 2012:
Earlier this summer, Christine Blasey Ford wrote a confidential letter to a senior Democratic lawmaker alleging that Supreme Court nominee Brett M. Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago, when they were high school students in suburban Maryland. Since Wednesday, she has watched as that bare-bones version of her story became public without her name or her consent, drawing a blanket denial from Kavanaugh and roiling a nomination that just days ago seemed all but certain to succeed.

Now, Ford has decided that if her story is going to be told, she wants to be the one to tell it.

Speaking publicly for the first time, Ford said that one summer in the early 1980s, Kavanaugh and a friend — both “stumbling drunk,” Ford alleges — corralled her into a bedroom during a gathering of teenagers at a house in Montgomery County.

While his friend watched, she said, Kavanaugh pinned her to a bed on her back and groped her over her clothes, grinding his body against hers and clumsily attempting to pull off her one-piece bathing suit and the clothing she wore over it. When she tried to scream, she said, he put his hand over her mouth.

“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” said Ford, now a 51-year-old research psychologist in northern California. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”

Ford said she was able to escape when Kavanaugh’s friend and classmate at Georgetown Preparatory School, Mark Judge, jumped on top of them, sending all three tumbling. She said she ran from the room, briefly locked herself in a bathroom and then fled the house.
The significant point is that she revealed this during couples therapy 6 years ago:
Ford said she told no one of the incident in any detail until 2012, when she was in couples therapy with her husband. 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.

Notes from an individual therapy session the following year, when she was being treated for what she says have been long-term effects of the incident, show Ford described a “rape attempt” in her late teens.

In an interview, her husband, Russell Ford, said that in the 2012 sessions, she recounted being trapped in a room with two drunken boys, one of whom pinned her to a bed, molested her and prevented her from screaming. He said he recalled that his wife used Kavanaugh’s last name and voiced concern that Kavanaugh — then a federal judge — might one day be nominated to the Supreme Court.
In related news, two Republican Senators, Jeff Flake (who is on the Judiciary Committee), and Bob Corker (who is not) are asking to postpone the vote so that there can be further investigation.

Also, I gotta figure that Kavanaugh knew that this was coming, since it's not normal for people to keep a list of 65 women who they didn't sexually assault in their back pocket.

On the bright side, Joe Biden is not running the confirmation hearing this time.

To Quote Douglas Adams, Don't Panic

Harold Feld, who is a top flight lawyer on all things telco, and is on one of the relevant advisory committees, notes that, "The Upcoming IPAWS “Presidential Level Alert” Test Is Not A Trump Thing — Really."

The nationwide alert that will be broadcast on September 20 has been planned for years:
There is a bunch of hysteria running rampant about the September 20, 2018 test of the “Presidential Level Alert” functionality of the Wireless Emergency Alert System (WEA), which is part of the Integrated Public Alert Warning System (IPAWS). (See FEMA Notice of Alert Here.) The thrust of the concerns is that Fearless Leader is creating a propaganda system that can blast through all cell phones and no one can opt out.

I ask everyone to please calm down. The fact that it is called a “Presidential Alert” has nothing to do with Trump. This all goes back to The Warning, Alert, Response Network Act (WARN Act) of 2006. That Act required that we integrate the old Emergency Alert System (EAS) which is on broadcast and cable with a newly created wireless emergency alert system (WEA) so that we could take advantage of the emerging communications technology (texting in 2006, but with an eye toward broadband) to warn people in advance of disasters.


This absolutely has nothing to do with Trump. The WARN Act mandates that while users may opt out of other alerts, they may not opt out of “Presidential Level Alerts.” This was decided way back in 2006, when Congress determined that people should not be able to opt out of anything so important that it triggers a nation-wide alert (although, annoyingly, they did give wireless carriers freedom to opt out of WEA entirely, which tells you a lot about the priorities of Congress back in 2006). See WARN Act Sec. 602 (b)(2)(E). This was not a choice by the Trump Administration. Nor can the current FCC allow people to opt out of “Presidential Level Alerts.” It’s in the WARN ACT of 2006.

So please, please stop spreading rumors about this. Please stop treating this as more evidence of Trump overreach with all kinds of possible sinister motives. The President can’t just press a button to send this out. And while a determined President with enough effort can abuse any system, this is not something Trump can just decide to do with his morning Tweets.
 So, just chill out everyone.