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  #701  
Old 09-13-2018, 04:19 PM
Bijou Drains Bijou Drains is offline
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smoking pot knocked out Ginsberg but that was in the 80s. Probably would not be an issue now unless there was a lot of pot smoking.
  #702  
Old 09-13-2018, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
Reddit and twitter rumors are that Kavanuagh violated someone's consent in high school, and that the baseball-tickets thing were actually a scheme to hide large payoffs to persuade the victim from coming forward with her story. Just rumors for now; hopefully if there was any law breaking or shady behavior, it will come out before any final vote.
He paid off someone using a credit card? If he did, he definitely does't belong on the Supreme Court.

Bijou: Obama admitted to using cocaine in HS, as well as being in a pot smoking club. I'm think we're well past that sort of thing.

Last edited by John Mace; 09-13-2018 at 04:23 PM.
  #703  
Old 09-13-2018, 11:27 PM
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The FBI has declined to investigate this due to the time lapse since the incident allegedly happened.
  #704  
Old 09-13-2018, 11:31 PM
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I assume it was referred to the FBI since they're responsible for doing the background checks on nominees, beyond just criminal stuff.

Anyways, if the Guardian has it right, it's not really overwhelming.

Quote:
A source who said they were briefed on the contents of the letter said it described an incident involving Kavanaugh and a woman that took place when both were 17 years old and at a party. According to the source, Kavanaugh and a male friend had locked her in a room against her will, making her feel threatened, but she was able to get out of the room. The Guardian has not verified the apparent claims in the letter. It is not yet clear who wrote it.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 09-13-2018 at 11:32 PM.
  #705  
Old 09-13-2018, 11:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Fiveyearlurker View Post
A possibly interesting tidbit:

The top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, Dianne Feinstein of California, said Thursday that she has referred a letter concerning Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh to federal authorities.

"I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court," Sen. Feinstein said. "That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities."


Edit: Ninjaed
For those of you interested, here is a video of her speech.
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  #706  
Old 09-14-2018, 02:00 AM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is offline
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The FBI has declined to investigate this due to the time lapse since the incident allegedly happened.
Well, that and it not being a federal crime, I imagine.
  #707  
Old 09-14-2018, 07:16 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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I think he's about to be #metoo'd. What else could it be?
Grassley postponed the committee vote for a week. The reason can't be auspicious for the nomination - either it's to look into this, or his finances, or to strong-arm a wavering Gopper or two, or something else not yet leaked. No, scratch that last, it's Washington, where there is nothing that isn't leaked.
  #708  
Old 09-14-2018, 07:49 AM
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Originally Posted by John Mace View Post
Yes. Everything that Feinstein said seemed to be talking about "the individual" who wrote the letter, not the the woman of interest. The woman who wrote the letter said she didn't want to pursue it further, and yet Feinstein referred it to the "federal investigative authorities". We can argue about whether that was the right thing to do or not, but it doesn't sounds like it's honoring her wishes.

If there is anything here, we'll find out soon enough.
The other part is that the writer of the letter allegedly wasn't the person to whom Kavanaugh did or didn't do whatever he is alleged to have done or not done. There doesn't seem to be any reference to that person's wishes for confidentiality. Only the wish of the writer of the letter not to pursue it.

Call the writer of the letter A, and the person who was allegedly the subject of whatever Kavanaugh is accused of doing B. I can think of reasons why B would not want it pursued, some innocent and some not. I can also think of reasons why A would not want it pursued - but a desire by B for anonymity isn't one of them. If B wanted to drop it, A would not have written the letter.

Another reason that A would not want the matter pursued might be that B doesn't exist, or hasn't accused Kavanaugh of anything, or what B said about Kavanaugh is trivial. And A would not want that pursued because investigation would cause the whole thing to fall apart.

I don't know if Feinstein knows or not. I suspect, on some level, she doesn't care. Throw out the smear. If nothing comes of it, some people will believe it no matter what, especially in today's #metoo atmosphere. Maybe Feinstein can delay the vote, or re-open the hearings as they did with Thomas. At least she can send out the signal to future nominees "Be prepared to be smeared. We'll find something. If we can't find something, we will use anonymous accusations at second- or third-hand."

Unless the Dems take back the Senate, of course. Then such tactics will be beyond the pale.

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  #709  
Old 09-14-2018, 07:56 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Your concern with this allegation is not about its truth or accuracy, but over its existence. Is that supposed to be a respectable position to take?
  #710  
Old 09-14-2018, 08:15 AM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is offline
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Grassley postponed the committee vote for a week. The reason can't be auspicious for the nomination - either it's to look into this, or his finances, or to strong-arm a wavering Gopper or two, or something else not yet leaked. No, scratch that last, it's Washington, where there is nothing that isn't leaked.
The vote was always going to be on the 20th. Grassley scheduled it for the 13th knowing that any committee member can request a week delay and that the Dems certainly would. That happened, not because of Feinstein's letter, but because the Dems feel pressure from their base to use every tool at their disposal to delay Kavanaugh.

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/p...n-to-next-week

Quote:
Kavanaugh’s nomination was included on the agenda for Thursday’s committee meeting, and it was expected the panel’s Democratic members would request the nomination be held over for one week.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, started the meeting by announcing Kavanaugh's nomination vote would be held for a week due to Democratic objections. After a few minutes of debate, the committee voted along party lines, 11-10, to set the committee's vote for Sept. 20 at 1:45 p.m.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 09-14-2018 at 08:19 AM.
  #711  
Old 09-14-2018, 08:21 AM
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The other part is that the writer of the letter allegedly wasn't the person to whom Kavanaugh did or didn't do whatever he is alleged to have done or not done. There doesn't seem to be any reference to that person's wishes for confidentiality. Only the wish of the writer of the letter not to pursue it.
Whatever it was, I could understand Feinstein seemingly ignoring the wishes of the letter writer under certain circumstances. If it was significant information, tell the letter writer "Sory, but you should not have given this to me if you didn't want me to do anything with it". But since we're talking about something that happened over 30 years ago when Kavanaugh was in High School, it would have to be very, very serious to do anything other than tell the letter writer: "Thanks for the input, and I will honor your wish not to pursue this any further. Remember to vote in November. "
  #712  
Old 09-14-2018, 08:24 AM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is offline
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I think Feinstein's was probably hoping the FBI would play along with her "I've referred the matter to federal investigative authorities" joke a bit longer than they did.

Last edited by HurricaneDitka; 09-14-2018 at 08:25 AM.
  #713  
Old 09-14-2018, 08:32 AM
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I think Feinstein's was probably hoping the FBI would play along with her "I've referred the matter to federal investigative authorities" joke a bit longer than they did.
"While the Bureau cannot comment on specifics, we are investigating an incident involving Kavanaugh's conspiracy to commit kidnapping and unlawful restraint of a minor female."

Like that.
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  #714  
Old 09-14-2018, 08:42 AM
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As I wrote in another thread, my best guess (at this time) is that Feinstein meant well but is under enormous pressure.

She probably recognized that the info she had was insignificant, and combined with the purported victim's desire for no action, she would have suppressed the matter entirely. But once word got out about it, her hand was forced. At that point, if she continued to do nothing, she (already subjected to a primary from a progressive candidate) would have been accused of being part of a cover up and insufficiently dedicated to The Cause. So she had to be seen as "doing something", and by referring it to the FBI she accomplished that. I would guess she knew full well that nothing would come of the FBI referral, but at that point she would be seen as having done her part in the Great Struggle.

In sum, the old story of fanatic extremists pressuring the more rational politicians. You see it on both the left and the right.
  #715  
Old 09-14-2018, 08:57 AM
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...I would guess she knew full well that nothing would come of the FBI referral, but at that point she would be seen as having done her part in the Great Struggle....
Is that her call to make? Can she decide that, can she decide that this wasn't worth much, so no problem if she doesn't tell the FBI? I would have thought that was the FBI's decision to make.

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....In sum, the old story of fanatic extremists pressuring the more rational politicians. You see it on both the left and the right.
That is the important thing to remember here, that both sides do it. Good catch, there, FP!
  #716  
Old 09-14-2018, 09:04 AM
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Is that her call to make? Can she decide that, can she decide that this wasn't worth much, so no problem if she doesn't tell the FBI? I would have thought that was the FBI's decision to make.
Really? Refer every accusation to the FBI without putting any thought into it? I disagree. Feinstein is a seasoned pol who has been in government longer than a lot of us have been alive (not you and me, but others reading this). If all she does is act as a letter carrier then she's not doing her job. Unless Senate or Committee rules require her to pass on any and all information like this. If that's the case, then so be it. If not, she should use some judgement.

Last edited by John Mace; 09-14-2018 at 09:06 AM.
  #717  
Old 09-14-2018, 09:09 AM
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That is the important thing to remember here, that both sides do it. Good catch, there, FP!
Republicans afraid of challenges from the right attract an enormous amount of attention on this MB. Lately that phenomenon has been occurring more on the left as well - possibly including Sen Feinstein - and it's worth noting that it's part of a broader phenomenon.
  #718  
Old 09-14-2018, 09:16 AM
elucidator elucidator is offline
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...Really? Refer every accusation to the FBI without putting any thought into it? I disagree....
Oh, OK. So, if you have some evidence that falls under the FBI's bailiwick, and you privately make a judgement about its significance, there is no legal problem with that? No way do they come around and ask "Hey, shouldn't you have told us?".

See, I don't have you depth of expertise in this sort of thing, so I have to ask.

Last edited by elucidator; 09-14-2018 at 09:17 AM.
  #719  
Old 09-14-2018, 09:23 AM
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Oh, OK. So, if you have some evidence that falls under the FBI's bailiwick, and you privately make a judgement about its significance, there is no legal problem with that?
What is the legal problem? You and I both know a lot of folks who use and/or sell drugs*. I've not turned any in to the FBI. How many of those people have you turned over to the FBI, and how much legal jeopardy are we in for not dong so?

Quote:
See, I don't have you depth of expertise in this sort of thing, so I have to ask.
See above. I think you do.

*We don't do any of this ourselves, of course, but we know "other people" who do.
  #720  
Old 09-14-2018, 10:15 AM
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From the New Yorker:
Quote:
The allegation dates back to the early nineteen-eighties, when Kavanaugh was a high-school student at Georgetown Preparatory School, in Bethesda, Maryland, and the woman attended a nearby high school. In the letter, the woman alleged that, during an encounter at a party, Kavanaugh held her down, and that he attempted to force himself on her. She claimed in the letter that Kavanaugh and a classmate of his, both of whom had been drinking, turned up music that was playing in the room to conceal the sound of her protests, and that Kavanaugh covered her mouth with his hand.
  #721  
Old 09-14-2018, 10:18 AM
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Will the Republicans in the Senate take such an allegation seriously (which doesn't mean necessarily voting against him -- just actually considering that this might be a real story from an honest person and seriously investigating it as a personal character issue)? Or will they continue to be the party of abusers and violators of consent, not taking such allegations seriously?

I suspect the latter. Will Doper supporters of Kavanaugh advocate taking this allegation seriously, or will they advocate ignoring it? We'll see.

Last edited by iiandyiiii; 09-14-2018 at 10:18 AM.
  #722  
Old 09-14-2018, 10:28 AM
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From your link, and this is more along the lines of the discussion I was having with elucidator:

Quote:
Feinstein’s decision to handle the matter in her own office, without notifying other members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, stirred concern among her Democratic colleagues. For several days, Feinstein declined requests from other Democrats on the Judiciary Committee to share the woman’s letter and other relevant communications. A source familiar with the committee’s activities said that Feinstein’s staff initially conveyed to other Democratic members’ offices that the incident was too distant in the past to merit public discussion, and that Feinstein had “taken care of it.On Wednesday, after media inquiries to the Democratic members multiplied, and concern among congressional colleagues increased, Feinstein agreed to brief the other Democrats on the committee, with no staff present.”
  #723  
Old 09-14-2018, 10:31 AM
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Originally Posted by iiandyiiii View Post
Will the Republicans in the Senate take such an allegation seriously (which doesn't mean necessarily voting against him -- just actually considering that this might be a real story from an honest person and seriously investigating it as a personal character issue)? Or will they continue to be the party of abusers and violators of consent, not taking such allegations seriously?

I suspect the latter. Will Doper supporters of Kavanaugh advocate taking this allegation seriously, or will they advocate ignoring it? We'll see.
I suspect Republicans will see this as a "Once you pay the Danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane" thing. Namely, they'll fear that if they cave in on Kavanaugh because of a sexual-misconduct allegation, that the Democrats will always then use sexual misconduct allegations as an obstructionist tactic to block Republican nominees and candidates.


Note that I am NOT saying that this accusation against Kavanaugh is false; however, many Republicans in the MeToo# era are going to think, "First Clarence Thomas, then Trump, then Roy Moore, and now Kavanaugh - it can't be coincidental that every time a conservative is rising to high office that someone always comes forth with some story about sexual misconduct against him."
  #724  
Old 09-14-2018, 10:35 AM
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Even before this, my take was that there were too many questions about Kavanaugh to vote on him. Questions about his truthfulness in his previous confirmation hearings, questions about his debt and its sudden disappearance, questions about how far his overturning of Roe would go (he's referred to birth-control pills as "abortion-inducing drugs" - sounds like he'd uphold a 'fertilized egg = person' law and let states outlaw all but barrier contraception), and now this.

This is a permanent, lifetime appointment on the highest court in the land. This can't be undone, barring some unlikely possible future where the Dems have the votes to impeach *and* remove. Persons with this significant a set of doubts hanging over them shouldn't be put on the court before they can be resolved one way or the other. The Senate should either take the time to try to resolve these issues, or request that the nomination be withdrawn and a new nomination be made.
  #725  
Old 09-14-2018, 10:38 AM
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I suspect Republicans will see this as a "Once you pay the Danegeld, you never get rid of the Dane" thing. Namely, they'll fear that if they cave in on Kavanaugh because of a sexual-misconduct allegation, that the Democrats will always then use sexual misconduct allegations as an obstructionist tactic to block Republican nominees and candidates.


Note that I am NOT saying that this accusation against Kavanaugh is false; however, many Republicans in the MeToo# era are going to think, "First Clarence Thomas, then Trump, then Roy Moore, and now Kavanaugh - it can't be coincidental that every time a conservative is rising to high office that someone always comes forth with some story about sexual misconduct against him."
You mean like the sexual misconduct allegations against Bob Dole (1996), Dubya (2000), Roberts (2005), Alito (2005), McCain (2008), Romney (2012), or Gorsuch (2017)?

Yeah, every time. I see what you mean.

ETA: Since you included Roy Moore, I note my omission of the hundreds of GOP Senate candidates since 1991.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 09-14-2018 at 10:40 AM.
  #726  
Old 09-14-2018, 10:38 AM
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Per twitter, Grassley just released a signed statement from 65 of Kavanaugh's high school peers attesting to his personal character and respectful treatment of women. Which means they knew about this allegation all along and had no interest in publicly discussing or investigating it.
  #727  
Old 09-14-2018, 10:39 AM
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Will Doper supporters of Kavanaugh advocate taking this allegation seriously, or will they advocate ignoring it? We'll see.
I for one would advocate ignoring it.

Even if the version of events described by the woman is 100% accurate (leaving out Kavanagh's denial) that would not be a reason to vote against the guy.
  #728  
Old 09-14-2018, 10:39 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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it can't be coincidental that every time a conservative is rising to high office that someone always comes forth with some story about sexual misconduct against him."
Maybe eventually they'll start to think they shouldn't be nominating so many sex offenders? If the excuse is "Well, everybody's done something like that, boys will be boys" etc., that's a problem in itself and they do need an answer.
  #729  
Old 09-14-2018, 10:40 AM
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Even if the version of events described by the woman is 100% accurate (leaving out Kavanagh's denial) that would not be a reason to vote against the guy.
What would?
  #730  
Old 09-14-2018, 10:50 AM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is offline
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What would?
something more significant than an anonymous tip without any corroborating evidence?
  #731  
Old 09-14-2018, 10:51 AM
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Even if the version of events described by the woman is 100% accurate (leaving out Kavanagh's denial) that would not be a reason to vote against the guy.
Yah, who among us guys didn't go in for a bit of attempted rape back in high school?

Seriously, that's one fucked-up attitude.
  #732  
Old 09-14-2018, 10:55 AM
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something more significant than an anonymous tip without any corroborating evidence?
No, he said, "Even if the version of events described by the woman is 100% accurate" it still wouldn't be a reason to derail Kavanaugh's nomination.

There's a reasonable argument that an unsupported allegation such as this should be ignored. But if we knew for a fact that this had gone down as the woman described it, AFIAIC the notion that it still shouldn't be a problem is abominable.

Last edited by RTFirefly; 09-14-2018 at 10:55 AM.
  #733  
Old 09-14-2018, 10:56 AM
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Yah, who among us guys didn't go in for a bit of attempted rape back in high school?

Seriously, that's one fucked-up attitude.
A worse fucked-up attitude is your willingness to describe that set of facts as attempted rape.
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  #734  
Old 09-14-2018, 10:59 AM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is offline
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A worse fucked-up attitude is your willingness to describe that set of facts as attempted rape.
that set of alleged facts. Or perhaps not even alleged, since there's not an actual person making the allegation but someone telling us they heard about it third-hand. Perhaps we should call it "that set of hearsay rumors"?
  #735  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:01 AM
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No, he said, "Even if the version of events described by the woman is 100% accurate" it still wouldn't be a reason to derail Kavanaugh's nomination.
Correct.

Quote:
But if we knew for a fact that this had gone down as the woman described it, AFIAIC the notion that it still shouldn't be a problem is abominable.
The guy was a teenager at the time and it's 35 years since then, without more history of this type of behavior. A non-issue, even if it happened exactly as described here.
  #736  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:02 AM
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A worse fucked-up attitude is your willingness to describe that set of facts as attempted rape.
How would you describe the alleged conduct? ETA: She says "he attempted to force himself on her." Is that not language generally used to describe an attempted rape?

Last edited by RTFirefly; 09-14-2018 at 11:07 AM.
  #737  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:13 AM
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Correct.

The guy was a teenager at the time and it's 35 years since then, without more history of this type of behavior. A non-issue, even if it happened exactly as described here.
Fuck that shit. An attempted rape is way outside of normal teen stupidity that gets out of hand. Should it disqualify him from a normal life? No. Should it disqualify him from a position of great consequence, including great consequence to women? Absofuckinglutely.

How is a reasonable woman going to have reason to believe he'll care about the consequences of his decisions as they affect women, when he didn't care about how forcing himself on a woman would affect that particular woman?
  #738  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:14 AM
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I for one would advocate ignoring it.

Even if the version of events described by the woman is 100% accurate (leaving out Kavanagh's denial) that would not be a reason to vote against the guy.
So you have no worries that someone capable of doing that once might have done it more often? And no interest in finding out if there might be other allegations?
  #739  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:14 AM
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that set of alleged facts. Or perhaps not even alleged, since there's not an actual person making the allegation but someone telling us they heard about it third-hand. Perhaps we should call it "that set of hearsay rumors"?
Yeah, we know. You're butting in on a discussion where we're assuming strictly arguendo that these allegations are true, to remind us that they're just allegations. Brilliant.
  #740  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:20 AM
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What would?
At the absolute minimum, things he did as an adult.
  #741  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:21 AM
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An attempted rape is way outside of normal teen stupidity that gets out of hand.
Agreed.
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Should it disqualify him from a position of great consequence, including great consequence to women? Absofuckinglutely.
Disagreed.

Quote:
How is a reasonable woman going to have reason to believe he'll care about the consequences of his decisions as they affect women, when he didn't care about how forcing himself on a woman would affect that particular woman?
When he was 17 he shouldn't have been on the Supreme Court. It's 35 years since then. What he cared or didn't care about then has very little bearing on how he would rule on anything now.
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So you have no worries that someone capable of doing that once might have done it more often? And no interest in finding out if there might be other allegations?
He's been in the public eye for many years already.

And even now, with passions inflamed and millions of dollars being spent, the best anyone could come up with is a 35 year old allegation.
  #742  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:22 AM
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If we knew for a fact that he attempted rape as a 17-year-old, I would not support his nomination to the SCOTUS. I doubt, though, that we could know that for a fact without a confession from him due to the time lapse between the alleged act and now. If we could know such things "for a fact", there wouldn't be a statute of limitations. And if he confessed, I would expect him to withdraw his nomination.

Also, I would hesitate to jump to "attempted rape" based only on "he tried to force himself on me". I would want a more definitive statement from the woman.

Last edited by John Mace; 09-14-2018 at 11:24 AM.
  #743  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:25 AM
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iiandyiiii iiandyiiii is online now
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I'm amazed that people still trust the system enough to say things like "any allegations would have come out by now". The last year or so should put that ridiculous notion to rest for a long, long time.
  #744  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:25 AM
Fotheringay-Phipps Fotheringay-Phipps is online now
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I doubt, though, that we could know that for a fact without a confession from him due to the time lapse between the alleged act and now.
I don't know about "for a fact", but I assume everyone who knew him back in HS is going to be interviewed to see if/what they knew about this allegation at the time.

The other guy allegedly involved is known (and claims no recollection, FWIW). So I assume reporters will be able to track down everyone who could have known about it.

Last edited by Fotheringay-Phipps; 09-14-2018 at 11:26 AM.
  #745  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:28 AM
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If Kavanaugh was actually a rapist or an attempted rapist, I'd say dump him. There are plenty of non-rapists that are well qualified. The problem is this allegation is incredibly thin as it is a few steps removed from an actual accuser, and it's so old. With that fact pattern it's unlikely that anything that arises from it would be actionable and as a result it makes it seem more like a smear/delay tactic/Democratic flailing than anything else.
  #746  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:33 AM
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If Kavanaugh was actually a rapist or an attempted rapist, I'd say dump him. There are plenty of non-rapists that are well qualified. The problem is this allegation is incredibly thin as it is a few steps removed from an actual accuser, and it's so old. With that fact pattern it's unlikely that anything that arises from it would be actionable and as a result it makes it seem more like a smear/delay tactic/Democratic flailing than anything else.
Better not investigate it, then. That'd be a terrible thing. Might actually find something out!
  #747  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:34 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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Is that really a hill you're willing to die on?
  #748  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:36 AM
HurricaneDitka HurricaneDitka is offline
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Better not investigate it, then. That'd be a terrible thing. Might actually find something out!
The letter was sent in July. If Democrats really wanted it investigated, they shouldn't have held the letter in secret until the last minute.
  #749  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:36 AM
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The proper way to investigate it is for a person to go to law enforcement, not sitting senators at a judicial nomination hearing. If the matter is referred to law enforcement - let them do their jobs and the cards fall where they may. Given Feinstein sat on the information for a while, I'm inclined to believe it Democratic flailing. Can you think of a reason why she waited?

Last edited by Bone; 09-14-2018 at 11:39 AM.
  #750  
Old 09-14-2018, 11:37 AM
ElvisL1ves ElvisL1ves is offline
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The letter was sent in July. If Democrats really wanted it investigated, they shouldn't have held the letter in secret until the last minute.
Don't you think it would have been sent to Grassley too? As the chairman, yanno.

What else is in the documentation he insists must be kept secret from us?
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