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Sen. Lindsey Graham Calls for Investigation of Democrats

September 30, 2018 in Blogs

By Gwendolyn Smith, The New Civil Rights Movement

Lindsey Graham has uncovered the real villains in the Brett Kavanaugh hearings.

Lindsey Graham has dedicated himself to finding who he believes are the real villains uncovered during the Brett Kavanaugh hearings — the Democrats.

On ABC news' “This Week,” Graham continued his defiant response presented during the hearing, vowing to “do a wholesale, full scale investigation of what I think was a despicable process to deter it from happening again.”

Said Graham, “The FBI will do a supplemental background investigation, then I'm going to call for an investigation of what happened in this committee. Who betrayed Dr. Ford's trust? Who in Feinstein's office recommended Katz as a lawyer? Why did Ms. Ford not know that the committee was willing to go to California?”

Graham has also suggested that there is no need for the FBI to do any sort of investigation into Brett Kavanaugh, disputing host George Stephanopoulos on the relevancy of looking into witnesses who may contradict his testimony.

“He's had six FBI background checks. He's been on the political stage for 26 years. He's not a stumbling, bumbling drunk,” said Graham. “I don't believe that he could have accomplished what he's accomplished to have been a serial rapist in high school and stop it for the rest of your life”

Graham contends that the allegations against Kavanaugh are political in nature.

“All I can tell you is it came from somebody with a political motive. There were three people who had the letter, people in Feinstein's office, the congresswoman from California, and Ms. Katz and the legal team,” said Graham. “No friend would do this to Dr. Ford. I believe her when she said she wanted to remain anonymous.”

View the full transcript.






















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Here's How to Save the Supreme Court

September 30, 2018 in Blogs

By Paul Rosenberg, Salon

“Originalism” has always been a mask for blatantly political right-wing decisions. It’s time to rip off the mask

Last week's historic Senate Judiciary Committee hearing featuring Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was primarily about sexual violence and accountability. But it was also about lies, and those issues are inextricably linked at many levels.

“What we saw this week was Lindsey Graham and Chuck Grassley and Orrin Hatch trying to build the Me Too firewall,” Above the Law editor Elie Mystal said on MSNBC Saturday. “There are 18 archconservative judges waiting for Kavanaugh's job. They grow these people on trees. They could pick another guy. But they don't want another guy. That's because the sexual assault allegations against Brett Kavanaugh are a feature for them, not a bug. They want to prove that they can shove this guy through and tell women to shut up.” Exactly the same argument was made by Salon's Amanda Marcotte last week.

That much is painfully obvious. (Rape is about power, not sex. So too Supreme Court nominations.) But the role of lies is far more diffuse and various, ultimately reaching to the very heart of our judicial system and to the Supreme Court, to which Kavanaugh aspires. The lies Kavanaugh told are a useful reminder of how far from the truth we are as a nation.

Sometimes Kavanaugh’s lies to the Senate Judiciary Committee were ludicrous. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., called some of them called out.

“I don't believe 'boof' is flatulence, I don't believe a 'devil's triangle' is a drinking game, and I don't believe calling yourself a girl's 'alumnius' is being her friend,” Whitehouse said, regarding a just few of the countless lies, half-truths and bad-faith evasions Kavanaugh produced.

More often Kavanaugh’s lies pretended to common sense status.

Seven times he claimed that all four purported witnesses said “it didn’t happen,” with regard to his alleged assault of Ford in the summer of 1982. That's not true. Three times he specifically included Leland Keyser, Ford's friend, and that's also false. As Sen. Cory Booker, …read more


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Hypocrites Lindsey Graham and Brett Kavanaugh Represent the Smoldering Ruins of American Democracy

September 30, 2018 in Blogs

By Andrew O’Hehir, Salon

Lindsey Graham's outburst during the Kavanaugh hearings hinted at deeper truth.

What do we know now that we didn’t know before the grotesque carnival of Brett Kavanaugh’s appearance this week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where we were treated to the spectacle of a supposedly eminent jurist and Supreme Court nominee spitting, weeping, screaming in red-faced rage, indulging in mawkish sentimentality and belligerently refusing to answer questions? Nothing good.

Perhaps the exercise was instructive for many people nonetheless. I found myself startled to conclude, partway through the hallucinatory national ordeal of Thursday’s hearing, that Kavanaugh was right about something, if not precisely in the sense he intended. During his opening monologue — although I think that’s not technically the correct term — Kavanaugh pronounced, “This confirmation process has become a national disgrace.” Who could possibly disagree?

A few minutes later into the judge’s tirade, after he had accused Senate Democrats of staging a last-minute partisan smear campaign to derail his nomination and spoken darkly about “outside left-wing opposition groups” (what does “outside” mean here — outside of what?), Kavanaugh concluded: “This is a circus. The consequences will extend long past my nomination. The consequences will be with us for decades.” Again, full marks, Judge. Or let’s say a solid B-plus. Nice job of acknowledging the obvious.

I felt a similar reaction, even more strongly, to the scene-stealing outburst later in the hearing from Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, whose personal transformation from staunch defender of the old-line Republican Party faith into Trump-worshiping homunculus is among the more mysterious phenomena of this depraved political era. Early in the 2016 campaign, I once pursued Graham down a school hallway in suburban New Hampshire, trying to get close enough to extract a few one-liners out of him about Donald Trump. I gave my number to one of his aides and, randomly, to one of Jeb Bush’s sons, who both promised Graham would call me. That didn’t happen, and now look.

Graham’s ire on Thursday was of course directed at the alleged Democratic conspiracy to undermine Kavanaugh’s nomination …read more


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At Concert Attended by 50,000 Texans, Beto O'Rourke and Willie Nelson Team Up to Deliver Simple Message: 'Vote 'Em Out'

September 30, 2018 in Blogs

By Jake Johnson, Common Dreams

“This is a campaign for the future, because the people of the future, our kids and our grandkids, are depending on what we do at this moment.”

At a massive outdoor concert attended by an estimated 50,000 Texans Saturday night, country music icon and unabashed progressive champion Willie Nelson teamed up with Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas)—who is challenging Republican Sen. Ted Cruz—to deliver a simple message just over a month before election day: “Vote 'em out.”

“If you don't like who's in there, vote 'em out/That’s what election day is all about, and the biggest gun we’ve got is called the ballot box,” was just one of the rousing lines from a new song Nelson wrote for the much-anticipated gathering in Austin, which provided a brief glimpse of the unique enthusiasm O'Rourke has sparked in his campaign against Cruz, whose lead in the polls has dwindled rapidly in recent weeks.

Some of @WillieNelson’s new “Vote Em’ Out” from the Beto rally:

— Andy Langer (@Andylanger) September 30, 2018Donning a “Beto for Senate” t-shirt, Nelson—who has faced backlash from some of his right-wing fans over his support for O'Rourke—also performed the classic “On the Road Again” with some help from the Texas representative, a former musician in his own right.

Nelson's headline performance came just on the heels of a stump speech by O'Rourke that touched on a wide variety of topics, from the human-caused climate crisis to the Trump administration's cruel immigration policies.

“This is a campaign for the future, because the people of the future, our kids and our grandkids, are depending on what we do at this moment,” O'Rourke declared at the fundraising event, which also featured hundreds of volunteers helping Texans register to vote ahead of the November 6 election.

“Let tonight be a message to the future,” O'Rourke continued. “Let them know who we are, what we believe in and what we are willing to do to accomplish our goals. Let them know that we believe in this country. Let them know that we believe that we can come together and do great things for this country. …read more


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This One Trump Tweet Could Undo Limitations on the FBI's Kavanaugh Investigation Set by His Own White House Counsel

September 30, 2018 in Blogs

By Gwendolyn Smith, The New Civil Rights Movement

The tweet in question, from Donald Trump's personal account, is attacking NBC reporting of the FBI probe.

In a tweet sent Saturday evening, President Trump may have undone limitations by his own White House placed on the FBI investigation allegations of sexual assault levied against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.

The tweet in question, from Donald Trump's personal account, is attacking NBC reporting of the FBI probe, claiming that his office will allow the FBI to “interview whoever they deem appropriate.”

NBC News incorrectly reported (as usual) that I was limiting the FBI investigation of Judge Kavanaugh, and witnesses, only to certain people. Actually, I want them to interview whoever they deem appropriate, at their discretion. Please correct your reporting!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 30, 2018

NBC news had reported on significant limitations on the scope of the FBI's investigation, including barring investigation of claims of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh brought forth by Julie Swetnick. The Wall Street Journal also reported on these same limitations.

The report had said that the White House counsel's office had given the FBI a lot of the people they were permitted to interview, which would make it difficult for the FBI to follow leads and bring in corroborating witnesses.

Don McGahn is the current White House counsel, and a friend of Kavanaugh. Donald Trump had previously announced the departure of McGahn from the position after the presumed confirmation of Kavanaugh.




It may seem odd that a presidential social media account could up-end limitations placed on the FBI by the counsel, but the Department of Justice made just this case in November of last year, telling a district court that his tweets are “official statements of the President of the United States.”

It is also worth noting that McGahn has no legal authority to direct or limit the FBI's work, and that the President would hold sway over McGahn.

The new Trump tweet seems to contradict the presidents own statement from the 28th, saying that the FBI's investigation would be “limited in scope.”

















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