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Railroading …

… making way for a speedy ride.

See here for a purpled reference.

Later up-dates:

(an announcement at Union Station, Washington, DC)

We regret to inform you that the SCOTUS Special due to arrive at noon on Saturday September 29th has been delayed because of unexpected bad weather and an avalanche of public opinion.


(another announcement at Union Station, Washington, DC)

We are happy to inform you that the SCOTUS Special is now due to arrive at noon on Saturday October 6th (or not) (or with complications) (railroading is hard work!).



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#1 Comment By Alum-Anon On October 2, 2018 @ 3:59 pm

Buster Keaton would have been thoroughly appalled by what is being done to Kavanaugh.

Keaton knew a thing or two about railroading. His film industry mentor, initial employer and personal friend was Fatty Arbuckle.

#2 Comment By abl On October 2, 2018 @ 4:03 pm

what is being done to Kavanaugh

I’m not sure occam’s razor at this point implies that he’s innocent. Even his supporters (Shelby, Trump, etc.) describe his innocence in effectively coin-flip terms — he’s credible, she’s credible, and let’s therefore follow the presumption (?) of confirmation and vote yes.

#3 Comment By Alum-Anon On October 2, 2018 @ 5:34 pm

Rachel Mitchell, who has made a 25-year career out of prosecuting sexual assault perpetrators, found in her professional opinion that there were enough significant problems with Ford’s testimony that a case could not be brought.

– Ford’s claims regarding the time of the alleged event have been inconsistent.
– Ford did not identify her alleged attacker in the first two years following her initial mention of the alleged event in her therapist’s notes, and this conflicts with her husband’s claim.
– Ford has no memory of important details of the alleged event – including where it occurred, how she came arrived there, who and how she was invited, which house or where the house was that the alleged event is said to have occurred in, or how she returned home afterwards.
– Ford has not told a consistent account, between her written statements and her testimony. The inconsistencies range from her descriptions of what she claims to have heard to her claims of who was present.
– Ford could not recall recent events related to her allegations (including whether she took a polygraph exam on the day of her grandmother’s funeral).
– Ford has lied outright at least once about her resulting trauma, claiming that her symptoms prevent her from flying. She has flown annually to visit her parents and for vacations in Hawaii, Costa Rica, and French Polynesia.
– The activities of congressional Democrats and Ford’s attorneys are likely to have affected her account.

And perhaps most important:

None of the witnesses Ford has claimed were in attendance have corroborated her story, not even her lifelong friend.

#4 Comment By frank uible On October 2, 2018 @ 6:00 pm

Using Occam’s Razor, 35 years does it!

#5 Comment By abl On October 2, 2018 @ 6:21 pm

@ AA:

First, Rachel Mitchell is literally working for Grassley and is hardly a neutral arbiter here.

Second, the standard for a prosecutor bringing a case is MUCH higher than the standard required to convict in criminal court, which is MUCH higher than the standard required to award civil damages, which is MUCH higher than the standard required to decide not to hire a particular candidate for a job, which is MUCH higher than the standard of what it means to treat an applicant fairly. So Rachel Mitchell saying that she wouldn’t bring a case here–assuming her opinion is untainted by her clear conflict of interest–is meaningless when it comes to the question of whether or not K should get appointed (or, more to the point, whether or not he’s being treated fairly).

Third, a number of your points are likely inaccurate, but even if every single thing that you said was true, that would not weigh particularly heavily against Ford’s accusations–those are, at most, minor inconsistencies of the sort that would be expected in a legitimate accusation. On the other hand, K has *definitely* lied or misrepresented things in a number of respects arguably much more material to the underlying question of his innocence (see, e.g., most of what he’s said relating to his respect for women and his drinking habits — his explanations for “Renate Alumnius” and “beach week ralph club,” among many other things, strain incredulity).

Fourth, to spin out my point about Occam’s Razor further: what is more likely, that there is a vast coordinated liberal conspiracy to sink K’s nomination in favor of someone like Amy Barrett–who is almost certainly more conservative–(a conspiracy that perplexingly did not exist for Trump’s other recent and more conservative nominee), in which two separate women have sworn under oath that they have been sexually assaulted by K while he was drinking too much (and a third has sworn under oath that she saw him assault at least one different woman) in testimonies that have been widely described as overwhelmingly credible and include numerous independently corroborated details (as well as some direct corroboration–like Dr. Ford’s documented description of this assault in marriage counseling) or K actually maybe sometimes drinks too much (something that is very well documented) and has, while drunk, taken things too far with women on at least one occasion.

I don’t think there’s any reasonable question here that K is being treated very fairly — arguably too fairly. I’ve hired for numerous competitive positions, all of which were (a) far less competitive than SCOTUS; and (b) of far less consequence. If our top choice candidate had “credibl[y]” been accused of sexual assault, that would likely be an automatic dealbreaker in every instance, no matter how much more we liked him than our second choice. If our top choice candidate had been accused of sexual assault by three separate women under oath there’s no way in heck we’d have given him the opportunity to so much as respond in a follow-up interview. But let’s say, for whatever reason, we did. The way that K behaved in this interview — his anger, his open partisanship, his clear evasiveness on questions of material import (re drinking and such), his question to Senator Klobuchar re her drinking — would have resulted in us cutting him off and thanking him for his time after about 20 seconds. Seriously, imagine yourself in that situation: would you not have done likewise?

I’m not arguing that K should be convicted of sexual assault, that he should be forced to pay civil damages for these alleged harms, or even that he should be fired from his current position — each of these consequences carries, with good reason, a higher burden of proof than is appropriate for a job interview. Instead, my point is that he has been given far more leeway and far more benefit of the doubt than I could imagine occurring in any job interview I’ve ever heard of, for a job that should demand little leeway or benefit of the doubt of its candidates (given the high stakes of getting the appointment right and given the bounty of well-qualified alternatives).

#6 Comment By anon1 On October 3, 2018 @ 1:39 am

I want to add to all of this that I remember some specific parties I went to in HS, but I couldn’t tell you who drove me there or home from the vast majority, where the house was located (except for the handful that were at the house of a good friend), or who invited me. Can you, honestly?

And I went to high school a whole lot more recently than Dr. Ford. And I didn’t suffer the same sort of traumatic experience that she did — which would totally understandably blot out a lot of the inconsequential details of that night.

In fact, I can remember a handful of striking high school experiences that I had that were MUCH less traumatic than hers, around which many such details were a complete blur (like, for example: I can remember parts of a high school breakup in crystal clear detail–including what my SO’s couch looked like at the time, what song I listened to on the way home, the specific way in which I pitifully sang along to that song, etc–but I don’t know what month it happened in (I remember the season), whether it was a weekend or weeknight, whether we had hung out with other people that night as well, etc.).

I think it’s actually remarkable how many details she has remembered, the vast majority of which have checked out. In fact, it seems plausible, if not likely, that the party that she has described in some detail is expressly notated on Judge Kavanaugh’s calendar — the July 1 party had a guest list that almost perfectly overlaps with Dr. Ford’s recollection, occurred in the same narrowly-defined geographical area, happened in the same narrow temporal window, and included drinking. That’s some pretty good corroborating evidence, and straight from Judge K himself. Combined with the fact that it is documented that she told her therapist about this years ago, identified K as the attacker to her husband and several close friends I think (again years ago), raised these allegations to her congresswoman before K was nominated, and took and passed a lie detector test, the whole “liberal conspiracy” theory really looks like a flaming pile of garbage. Couple that with the fact that these apparently brilliant scheming liberals did not manufacture any similar conspiracy for Justice Gorsuch, whose nomination was very recent, whose politics are likely to the right of K’s, and who replaced a would-be-Justice Garland on the Court, and you’re left with really not much of anything. And, on top of that big flaming garbage pile of nothing, it’s worth repeating that the result of a failed K nomination, if Republicans don’t completely bungle things (which they appear somewhat determined to), is likely a more conservative justice on the Court–in the form of Amy Barrett or someone similar.

#7 Comment By ZSD On October 3, 2018 @ 1:51 am

“There is no man…however wise, who has not at some period in his youth said things, or lived a life, the memory of which is so unpleasant to him that he would gladly expunge it. And yet he ought not entirely to regret it, because he cannot be certain that he has indeed become a wise man…”

In Search of Lost Time

#8 Comment By 88’er On October 3, 2018 @ 8:21 am

Temperament and integrity.

This comment is part of the last Clinton conspiracy against Kavanaugh.

#9 Comment By Dick Swart On October 5, 2018 @ 2:29 pm

New announcements have been added to the railroading schedule for the POTUS Special.

Commuters on the Political Process Road may find themselves bewitched, bothered and bewildered.

#10 Comment By PTC On October 6, 2018 @ 4:52 pm

“And I’m telling you, Broom County is just visibly upset by this display…”

#11 Comment By ZSD On October 6, 2018 @ 5:21 pm

Slap Shot!. Great call, PTC. Who doesn’t love the Hanson Brothers.