Saturday Open Thread

Good Morning. I hope that you are enjoying this weekend with family and friends.

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37 Responses to Saturday Open Thread

  1. Liza says:

    Escaping from reality…

    So, a couple of days ago I was telling y’all that I watched The Last Waltz (from 1978) on TCM. I haven’t seen it for years. I think everyone who watches that film wonders why The Band never re-united, at least not the five original members. Anyhow, I was listening to some of their music this afternoon and remembered that Aretha Franklin had covered The Weight (in 1969).

    It’s a great interpretation, totally her own. As might be expected, Robbie Robinson loves it.

  2. Ametia says:

    Tesla’s Elon Musk settles with SEC, will pay $20 million fine and resign as board chairman

    Under the terms of the agreement, Musk will remain the company’s chief executive but step down as chairman within 45 days. Tesla will also name two new independent board directors and pay a $20 million fine.

    The Securities and Exchange Commission sued Musk on Thursday for misleading investors when he tweeted that he secured financing to take the electric car maker private. Musk had earlier vowed to fight, and the SEC had sought his dismissal as CEO.

    Read more »

  3. Ametia says:

    Former Governor Sarah Palin’s Son Arrested on DV (THAT’S DOMESTIC VIOLENCE) Assault, other Charges

    The 29-year-old son of former governor, Sarah Palin was arrested and held without bail late Friday night after a disturbance call, troopers reveal.
    Troopers responded to Track Palin’s residence on West Angela Drive in Wasilla at 10:37 pm Friday night and opened an investigation into the disturbance call involving Palin and an acquaintance of his.
    The investigation by AST would find that Palin assaulted the unidentified female then as she was attempting to call authorities to report the incidence, Palin took her phone away preventing her from calling.
    After the preliminary investigation, troopers determined that the crime of Assault IV (DV) and Interfering with a Report of DV had taken place and proceeded to arrest Palin. Troopers report that Palin physically resisted being placed under arrest and so was further charged with that crime and Disorderly Conduct.

    Sarah, you must be ever so proud, hmmm?

  4. rikyrah says:

    From BJ:

    (((CassandraLeo))) says:
    September 29, 2018 at 3:28 pm

    I’ll go ahead and repost this from elsewhere, though, because I have been able to find a small amount of hope, and it’s mostly in the women who are testifying, and maybe it’ll help someone else as well:


    I really should be working on school stuff, but I don’t know if I’m going to be capable until I get this rant out, so here goes.

    Dr Blasey Ford is telling the truth, of course. I haven’t, naturally, viewed every Senate testimony throughout history, but I’m scratching my head to recall an instance of a more credible witness ever testifying in front of the Senate. The fact that she kept her cool throughout the entire five- or six-hour questioning process and even managed to educate a bunch of scientific illiterates on how the brain works (which is literally her job) when testifying about the most traumatic experience of her life is nothing short of awe-inspiring and should have shut down the entire nomination right there.

    And if there were any reasonable doubts left after her testimony, Kavanaugh’s disgraceful performance should’ve unravelled them. He lied about small details; he lied about large details. He was transparently partisan and vindictive. He snivelled and simpered and gave every indication as though he believed the Supreme Court was his birthright. He contradicted his earlier sworn testimony from both the previous session and his own. He gave every indication of being a barely-functional alcoholic who still drinks to excess. It wasn’t entirely clear whether he was even sober during the hearings, and it wasn’t remotely difficult to imagine him becoming violent when he was drunk.

    I correctly predicted that the Republicans had hired Mitchell due to their own cowardice, but they still managed to surprise me with how cowardly they were. Mitchell, apparently believing that she had been hired to do an honest examination of both witnesses, asked Kavanaugh about an incriminating entry in the calendar he’d brought up as his ‘defence’, and they yanked her from the hearing shortly thereafter. I have little doubt that this exact calendar entry will be a central focus of the FBI’s investigation over the next six days. It credibly establishes that Kavanaugh attended parties of exactly the sort he denied attending with exactly the people he denied were there.

    One particular reason Kavanaugh’s credibility is so awful, beyond the obvious lies he told, is that we’ve [i]all[/i] known a Brett Kavanaugh in HS/college – a snot-nosed punk born to a privileged family who’s never faced consequences for anything in his life. Of course he routinely got blackout drunk; there was never anyone there to stop him. Of course he was and is a misogynist prick who looks at women as props rather than as people; no one ever taught him better. As a consequence of these two things, that he didn’t respect the boundaries of consent when he was shitfaced is little surprise. The popular culture of the ’80s was atrocious. There are numerous scenes in films of that era that unambiguously qualify as sexual assault or rape, but the films just gloss over them like they were no big deal. I’m not saying any of this to excuse his actions. They’re inexcusable. I’m simply putting them in context. This sort of thing happened all the time because Brett Kavanaughs were everywhere. We all knew them. They weren’t, as some of Kavanaugh’s defenders have been trying to say, all boys of age 17. They were misogynistic, entitled, alcoholic boys of age 17 who had never been told ‘no’ in their lives by anyone who could actually enforce it.

    So as I said, the fact that we’ve all known Brett Kavanaughs is why his testimony is so unbelievable. No one who’s ever attended high school or college believes that the “Ralph Club” is a reference to a weak stomach. No one believes that 10+ boys calling themselves “alumni” of a girl is a sign of respect for her. No one believes that “skis” is a reference to anything but brewskis. Nothing Brett Kavanaugh has offered in defence of himself has been remotely credible.

    One particularly unfortunate thing is that if he’d owned up to being a drunk who did a lot of regrettable things during his youth, expressed sincere regret to Dr Blasey Ford for what she went through, but denied being the perpetrator, he might’ve still sailed through without an FBI investigation. He shouldn’t have, but it might’ve been enough for Collins, Murkowski, and Flake. But he’s incapable of doing that, because he hasn’t changed in the slightest since high school. He still hasn’t been told ‘no’ before by anyone who was actually capable of enforcing consequences against him. And I suspect that is, in fact, a large part of why he came so unhinged on Thursday. This is the first time there’s ever been a significant danger that he’ll suffer consequences for his actions, and he doesn’t know how to deal with it. I suspect at least part of his supposed outrage was a carefully rehearsed act put on for an audience of one (the president*, in case that wasn’t clear). But he isn’t capable of reacting with sincere regret because he doesn’t know the meaning of the term. He doesn’t think he has anything to apologise to anyone for. And because of that, there’s now an FBI investigation into credible allegations of sex crimes against him from, to my understanding, at least two and probably at least three different women. Even if he does get confirmed, his nomination will forever be tainted with an asterisk. He will degrade the reputation of the Court (which, if I’m honest, should have already been degraded to that level eighteen years ago with Bush v. Gore, if not Clarence Thomas’ confirmation) and he will be followed with vehement protests for the rest of his life.

    As I said, if this were a truly just world, the final nail would’ve been shut in the coffin of his nomination with his disgraceful testimony. In fact, not only would his nomination already be yanked, but he would be disbarred, impeached, and under prosecution for sex crimes in Maryland, where there is no statute of limitations for such crimes. Such a person has no business as a judge. Such a person has no business as a free man.

    I’ve seen several clips from his confirmation, but I often watched them with the sound off because, much like the president*, his voice grates on my ears. One particular detail I noticed was the death glares he was getting from women behind him. Those were his alleged supporters – his family and so on; the people who know him best. They looked like the audience of Springtime for Hitler.

    There’s one other reason I know Blasey Ford is telling the truth. I was romantically involved with a sexual assault survivor for nearly three years, and I saw the trauma she was coping with firsthand. I helped her with the trauma firsthand. I wasn’t perfect about this; in fact, I was often boorishly insensitive, though, in my defence, this was mostly due to ignorance rather than callousness. If I’d possessed a full understanding of what she’d been coping with, I’d have read numerous books on PTSD, particularly books aimed at people who were dating survivors of sexual assault. Regardless, I have no question I helped her substantially during that time, because she’s told me as much, even years after we split up. She essentially lost at least seven years of her life to PTSD. She’s better now, but she’s not fully recovered, and I doubt she’ll ever be fully recovered. That’s not the sort of thing you ever fully recover from.

    All the unpleasant memories of how all-encompassing her trauma was have come bubbling back to the surface with this confirmation hearing. I am not, as I’ve said, a sexual assault survivor; I’ve only coped with the trauma it inflicts secondhand. And that was enough for me to find this entire week traumatic. I can’t imagine how many orders of magnitude worse this all must have been for people who have actually survived sexual assault. And for that, alone, I will never forgive the president* or his disgraceful nominee to the Supreme Court.

    Some commentators have predicted this disgraceful proceeding may shore up Trumpists. Perhaps. It also lost Republicans a lot of votes that they will probably never recover. My father and mother had both been registered Republicans up until this year. Both of them voted for H. Clinton (although my mother was somewhat reluctant to do so and regarded her as the lesser of two evils), and have voted Democratic in House races going back for several decades as they both have correctly recognised Katherine Harris and Vern Buchanan as the crooks they are. However, they typically voted more often for Republicans than for Democrats until recently. My father switched his registration back to Democratic earlier this month, and I suspect he will never again vote for another Republican. My mother hadn’t yet, but I suspect these hearings were the last straw for her.

    Women are ultimately the one cause for hope I’ve had throughout this entire proceeding. I can’t say for certain that Flake’s elevator confrontation was what ultimately incited him to call for an FBI investigation, but I can’t see what else could have done it. He’s incredibly image-conscious, still has presidential ambitions as far as I can tell, and doesn’t want the confrontation to be the last thing people remember about him. Moreover, he probably correctly recognised that if he didn’t do anything along those lines, he would face confrontations like that for the rest of his life. So I’m not giving him any moral credit here. He deserves none. The women who confronted him – and I suspect there were more than just the two in the elevator; those were likely simply the only two that were captured on camera – deserve the credit.

    And I’m still not sure this investigation will change anything, at least not on its own. But the one-week delay is a lot of time for Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow to uncover more credible allegations. It’s a lot of time for David Fahrenthold to start making inquiries about Kavanaugh’s mysteriously disappearing debt – what caused it to go away; what racked it up in the first place (no one except the credulous sincerely believe they were really for baseball tickets). It’s a lot of time for more accusers to step forward. And it’s a lot of time for family members of Senators to privately give them hell.

    Odds are at least ten Republican Senators have family members who’ve survived sexual assault. I’d place the over/under at 40, honestly. Not all of them are going to confront the Senators, but I suspect several will, and the vast majority will at least be privately furious. Spouses may threaten divorce. Daughters (or sons) may threaten to endorse political opponents. All may threaten to go public with dirt. I can’t predict what will happen, but this is personal. This is personal to me, and as I’ve said, I’m not even a survivor of assault. It will be orders of magnitude worse for people who are.

    There are nonetheless a few possibilities.

    1. Kavanaugh confirmed, but under cloud of suspicion that follows him for rest of his life. Ideally Democrats retake Senate in November and presidency in 2020 as consequence (not guaranteed as ratfucking, electronic voting machine hacking, voter suppression, etc. may get in the way), and pack the court to at least 15 as direct retaliation for this, Merrick Garland, etc. However, Supreme Court is irrevocably publicly tainted as the politically biased institution it’s already been for decades.

    2. Same as 1, but Kavanaugh is arrested and prosecuted for sex crimes in MD and possibly other jurisdictions. May be convicted, which would give us a sitting SC Justice who is unable to discharge his duties by reason of imprisonment.

    3. Kavanaugh nomination goes up in flames. He’s voted down, or McConnell realises he doesn’t have the votes and yanks it beforehand, or he withdraws publicly, or he does the honourable thing and commits hara kiri. Whatever.

    4. Same as 3, but Kavanaugh also uncovers dirt by association on other Republicans. He wasn’t drinking with Democrats for the past 20+ years in D.C. Odds are rather slim that none of them engaged in any illicit behaviour with him.

    5. Same as 3 or 4, but Kavanaugh also disbarred and possibly ultimately impeached from bench for perjury and/or other offences not mentioned.

    6. Some other scenario not mentioned here.

    My ideal scenario from the above is a combination of 4 and 5. If he’s confirmed, Republicans will lose the women’s vote, even the white women’s vote, for generations. They may already have done so. What Clarence Thomas did was awful and I don’t mean to minimise it. But firstly, it wasn’t violent assault, and secondly, it wasn’t against an educated, articulate, professional white woman with a freaking doctorate in psychology. Upper-middle-class white women will implicitly identify with Dr Blasey Ford, and many or even most of them have likely survived assaults similar or almost identical to hers. Not all Republican women will shift away from the party as a result of this. But some will. If we have fair elections going forward (as I’ve said, not a guarantee), this will hurt them for decades.

    So there have been few bright sides I’ve been able to find in this entire clusterfuck. It’s revealed the depravity of humanity to a degree I didn’t actually believe possible (seriously, burn in hell, Lindsey Graham), and it’s dredged up unpleasant memories I never wanted to have to have at the forefront of my consciousness again. The main hope I see is in the women. At this rate, I’d be perfectly fine with men simply being barred from public office for the next 20+ years. Things have been ruined badly enough already; women can’t possibly do worse.

    I’m going to be cutting things closer than I’d have liked with my my school assignments as a result of having written this essay, but I’m still glad I wrote it, because I don’t think I’d have been able to focus on a goddamn thing if I hadn’t.

    • Ametia says:

      The one thing white women who vote for these GOP hacks haven’t fully awaken to is that these white men who they thought would protect them and their loved ones, when it comes down to them or the women, won’t protect them in a court of law.

  5. Ametia says:
  6. Ametia says:

    September 29, 2018, 12:16 PM
    Nancy Pelosi calls Brett Kavanaugh “hysterical,” says he is unfit to serve on the Supreme Court

    “I couldn’t help but think that if a woman had ever performed that way, they would say ‘hysterical,'” Pelosi said about her reaction to Kavanaugh’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday. Kavanaugh emotionally denied allegations that he had sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when they were both teenagers.
    During his opening statement, Kavanaugh was very emotional, at times nearly shouting and choking up while discussing his family and his high school years. He also explicitly condemned Democrats on the committee, calling the allegations against him a “grotesque and coordinated character assassination” organized by liberals angry that Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 presidential election.

    Pelosi said that she believed Kavanaugh’s testimony proved that he could not serve on the Supreme Court, because it showed that he is biased against Democrats.
    “I think that he disqualifies himself with those statements and the manner in which he went after the Clintons and the Democrats,” she said.
    Pelosi demurred when asked if she would try to impeach Kavanaugh if he is confirmed, and if Democrats gain the majority in the House of Representatives.
    “I will say this — if he is not telling the truth to Congress or to the FBI, then he’s not fit not only to be on the Supreme Court, but to be on the court he’s on right now,” Pelosi said. Kavanaugh is currently a judge on the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals.

  7. Ametia says:

    Jessica Valenti

    Kavanaugh is the Face of American Male Rage
    Men are being held accountable — and it has them mad as hell

    It was the laughing, she said, that she couldn’t forget. Christine Blasey Ford, in testimony lauded on both sides of the political aisle as credible and moving, told the Senate Judiciary Committee on September 27 that the amusement of her tormentors was the most lasting memory of the sexual attack she alleges Brett Kavanaugh committed in 1982.

    “They were laughing with each other,” she said through tears, “two friends having a…

  8. rikyrah says:

    Kamala Harris Would’ve Handled Brett Kavanaugh From the Jump via @TheRoot

  9. rikyrah says:

    Good Morning, Everyone 😄😄😄

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