Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Your Votes Don't Count


  • Judge Jim Crockett nullified the results of a Republican primary election for state Assembly District 5. [RJ; KNPR]
  • Former DA David Roger talks about what went wrong in the second Binion trial. [LasVegasNow]
  • What are your predictions about the Kavanaugh confirmation proceedings? [SCOTUSblog]

39 comments:

  1. Prediction on the Kavanaugh hearing: Nobody wins.

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  2. The Kavanaugh hearings raise some complex issues concerning human nature.

    On the one hand, if he is guilty of this act in question, can it be forgiven, or at least proportionately viewed, if it is the act of a drunken seventeen-year-old? I certainly would not want to be judged on how I behaved at that age, but these allegations, if true, are pretty violent, and that makes this a very serious, legitimate matter even if the act may never had occurred but for the alcohol.

    But for those who disagree with that, and insist that even if the allegations are true they should not sink the nomination because they were the acts of a drunken child, I pose the following question.

    If the allegations are true, is the question still limited to whether we should judge someone by what they did when they were 17 and drunk, or does the issue become that they are willing to lie about it at age 53?

    Even if you excuse or forgive the acts because they were performed by a drunk 17-year-old, do you excuse the act of a now 53-year-old lying about it under oath so that he can secure one of the most important, sacred positions one can hold?

    Of course the questions I pose are based on if he is in fact guilty. I don't know if he is. I will wait to hear the testimony. A problem he has is this is not like that one trailer park accuser who came after Clinton. This accuser is a solid professional with, presumably nothing to gain, and much to lose, by coming forward.

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    1. I think people(at least fair-minded intelligent people) will look at it in the more nuanced way you suggest.

      I don't think that the only two conclusions viewers should concern themselves with is whether he is guilty of the act, or is not guilty of it. I think there is a third and fourth conclusion they should concern themselves with. The third conclusion is that if we are convinced he is guilty, and he largely comes clean, can it be forgiven to the point where the nomination can survive? And the fourth conclusion I believe we need to consider is that if we are convinced he is guilty, but he continues to take no accountability and concedes nothing, should we now view him as a perjurer unworthy of the positon?

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    2. The tragic part of all this is that people will assume they know what happened 36 years ago, even though none of us were there, and for many people, their version of what happened will not result from an objective consideration of the testimony, but will result from their party affiliation.

      90% of straight party-line Republicans will insist he is being set up, while 90% of straight party line Democrats will insist he committed a violent battery and sexual assault, and attempted rape.

      Remember the Trevon Martin/George Zimmerman incident down in Florida a few years back? It was very dark and any actual witnesses, if memory serves, were some distance away with their visibility largely obstructed. I don't think there was any close by witness with a bird's eye view.

      But that didn't keep anyone thousands of miles away from insisting they knew precisely what factually occurred. Many hard-line Republicans insisted the shoot was justified, while most hard-line Democrats insisted Zimmerman executed the kid.

      It used to be we would essentially be provided by the media actual, factual scenarios which were not really in dispute, and the bone of contention did not center on the facts(which were generally accepted) but the dispute was based on what the culpability and consequences should be based on those facts.

      But, in recent years, we never really get to the point of offering a view point, political or otherwise, based on uncontroverted, established facts. These days the facts themselves are always in violent dispute, and then the "true facts" are written and established by each of us based on our preconceived notions, prejudices, personal experiences, political believes, etc. Once we establish our own facts as to an incident in question, we then decide the culpability and the like.

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    3. "trailer park accuser who came after Clinton" -- WTF is wrong with you?

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    4. To: 1:10--1:13 here again.

      You are absolutely right and I am very ashamed of the stupid, degrading language I used as to that point. It is not what was in my heart, and not what I meant. Just some stupid, careless, unthinking phraseology.

      I was simply trying to make the point that the current accuser appears to be a person of solid reputation and status with no apparent motivation(at least none that I can see this early on)to make these types of false allegations, and that this could provide an additional challenge or obstacle for Kavanaugh.

      But I could have made that point without unfairly, and with no justification, diminishing someone else. I never intended to diminish, belittle or disparage someone else. I just was not thinking.

      Also, I should have kept my mouth shut since I don't even recall much about the accusers. The only accuser I remember by name is Monica Lewinsky, the intern, and that was later in his administration, like in '98. I was referring to something much earlier--his initial election of '92 when several accusers came forward. Since I don't now remember anything specific about their back story or lives, the trailer park reference is way out-of-line.

      Admittedly,the context I used it in made it sound like living in a trailer is a negative(if in fact one of the accusers lived in one, which is an unfair, and probably faulty assumption on my part). As a boy I lived in a trailer with my family between six and seven years. So, I would be in no positon to criticize it, and would never view it as a negative. Most families experience financial challenges at certain points.

      So, my bad.

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    5. 4:30,

      That's quite the apology, considering that James Carville, Clinton's top strategist, said, referring to Paula Jones, "Drag a hundred-dollar bill through a trailer park, you never know what you'll find."

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    6. If this happened, forgiveness is moot at this point, because he has denied it. The lie to cover it up is a current character flaw that is disqualifying.

      If this didn't happen, it's a non-issue.

      The problem, of course, is this alleged incident is so old, there is no evidence on it except the testimony of those who the accuser claims were there, plus any impeachment of the witnesses. If it ends up being a swearing contest with no meaningful impeachment of either side, it has to go to the accused. The timing is itself substantive impeachment in this case I think, although that's Feinstein's fault. Grassley is calling the bluff. He's said, this is serious, and you'll get a chance to testify despite the obscene timing, but show up Monday and testify, or we're done here. We're not going to let a wild accusation without sworn testimony hold up a SCOTUS nominee. He is doing this exactly right.

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    7. 1:13, there were several credible accusations of actual rape against Clinton. But that's neither here nor there. The Kavanaugh accuser absolutely has something to gain by coming forward. Are you kidding? Forget about potential future book deals or favorable treatment in her profession by left-wing persons. She has a personal motivation as a left-winger (it's documented) to help take down Kavanaugh. That's a powerful motivator. She of course has her personal privacy and perhaps even safety to lose. But have you seen how rabid some of there left-wingers can get? Plenty of them would sacrifice their lives (and yours) to get what they want politically.

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    8. Come forward and get dragged through the mud, have half of the Senate Judiciary Committee look for every way possible to destroy you to save the Republican dream of full control of the federal government, with a generation of control of the Supreme Court. Have to put up with the media constantly trying to interview you. Oh, and death threats. You're going to get lots of death threats. You'll essentially become nuclear to a lot of your colleagues and friends because of your newfound attention.

      But sure, the book deal will make it all worth it. Just ask Anita Hill.

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    9. What all you deep thinkers are overlooking is that there is a civil war going on in this country, fed and egged on by the media, and silicon valley, which is silencing speach. I say be careful what you seek, as we are not that far from the time when citizen miltias will take to the night with piano wire to hang traitors from freeway overpasses.

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    10. Everyone is missing a few salient points: Knowing the penalties for lying to the FBI, Dr. Ford is willing to be interviewed. Kavanaugh -- pure as the driven snow, I'm sure -- is not. 27 years ago, Anita Hill accused Clarence Thomas of workplace sexual harassment -- not a crime. Kavanaugh is being accursed of sexual assault -- a crime. Two different levels of bad. Grassley and Hatch were adamant about there being an FBI investigation into Hill's allegations. Now, they say it's not necessary, and there's no time. Not necessary? Hypocrites. No time? For what, so the Supreme Court doesn't have 9 Justices on October 1? Only Lindsey Graham was honest -- he said he didn't want to have a new Congress with a Democratic majority deciding who gets to sit on the Court. Really? Didn't want the voters to have a say in who's the next Justice? Mitch McConnell had no problem with the concept, and let SCOTUS go with 8 Justices for nearly a year. I don't ever want to hear these people say they're protecting the American way of life.

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    11. Would you care to explain what interest the FBI has in a state-specific crime?

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    12. 9:36,

      The FBI does the background checks on federal appointees.

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    13. This is a complex issue. On the surface, the issue is something alleged to have occurred 35 years ago involving 2 teens. Very few people are alleged to have direct knowledge concerning the incident (the 2 directly involved + 1 witness). No video surveillance exists nor were any contemporaneous reports made. Other than those 3 people the only other possible sources of information would be people that observed a change in demeanor of either party or someone that received a delayed report concerning it (substantially before either became professionally relevant).

      Society has changed dramatically since the alleged incident. In addition the memories fading over the decades, the individuals involved are alleged to have consumed alcohol at the time. Society also interprets the same factual situation today differently than it did back then. Having grown up in the same era, I recall that was the period that the issue de jour was date rape (no means no). Social mores and the interpretation of gender behaviors were different than today (not excusing the prior expectations or acceptance of now recognized improprieties).

      As discussed in other posts, the relevant question may not actually be whether the alleged act committed 35 years ago by an intoxicated 17 y/o should disqualify him from a seat on the Supreme Court, but rather, if they are true and that individual is lying about it today to obtain that same seat. I suggest, like in most political scandals, the potential cover-up is the bigger issue. It might brings down the figure not the actual offense (especially when the offense is alleged to have occurred decades prior).

      In this matter, the most telling facts are:

      1) The accuser wants the allegations investigated by the FBI whereas the accused does not. If the facts will vindicate Judge Kavanaugh, what is the downside (other than the legal risks of lying) of having them examined by the FBI.

      2) The only alleged witness is refusing to testify, under oath, before the Committee. Rather, he sent a pseudo denial through counsel.

      3) The alleged witness's denial isn't truly a denial. He says he doesn't recall such an event occurring. I can understand him not recalling attending a specific party or event nearly 35 years ago or what rooms and with whom he may have spent time during that party. I can not believe he would not recall observing a sexual assault perpetrated in his presence. If he had never seen such an event he should know he has never observed such an event and be able to state such. The only logical explanation for such a non-denial denial is either such types of events were so common in his life that he can not remember this specific attack, or he simply doesn't want to answer the question under oath as the answer would either place him at legal risk or harm his friend.

      4) How many of us, 35 years after graduating, still remember 65 people (similar in numbers to having the entire Nevada Legislature or or nearly 80% of every District Judge in the State of Nevada) from High School, or have 65 people from High School remember us?. How many of us have 65 members of the opposite gender that we went to High School (male only school with enrollment of 491) that would be willing to co-author a letter to the U.S. Senate to vouch for us after 35 years? Heck, how many of us have 65 people (other than family members) from the entirety of our lives willing to step into the spotlight on our behalf to do anything?

      The bottom line is that we were not present 35 years ago to know what actually occurred. We are not being asked to answer whether if there was an immediate acknowledgment and acceptance of responsibility (assuming the allegations were true), would that fact even be relevant to the nomination today.

      For me at least, in a situation like this, I place greater credibility in the version of the individual seeking to have the issue examined under the bright lights of law enforcement (along with the potential legal risks if lying) than the individual trying to prevent that examination.

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    14. Lets say kavanaugh, withdraws or does not get the votes he needs. The next nominee is going to look very simualar. As much as I hate it, elections have consequences.

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    15. Several people have indicated that the issue may not be whether his acts as a 17 year old should impact his suitability for the position now. If the allegations are true, how would that not affect his suitability for the position. We consistently hold 17 year olds accountable for their actions, intoxicated or not. And that accountability (being tried as an adult and having a felony conviction on their record) certainly would be considered as a potential disqualifying factor for a seat on the bench. So, assuming for the sake of argument that the allegations are true, why shouldn't it be a disqualifying factor here?

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    16. Yeah I am pretty forgiving of childhood indiscretions and I think we overcharge kids all the time but I am fine with treating attempted rape as a lifetime disqualification for a SCOTUS seat.

      Leaving aside the truth of the allegation, it isn't like people are trying to hold him responsible for underage drinking or blowing a .1 on his way home from the bar at 21 or getting busted with a dimebag in college. This is attempted rape, and it is a seat on the Supreme Court of the United States.

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    17. The whole problem with this is that few people actually give a shit about the truth. Both sides will weaponize this. Everyone will pretend to care about the truth. But it's not about whether Kavanaugh committed sexual assault many years ago. Maybe he did or maybe he didn't. What this is really about is whether SCOTUS will turn a 5-4 Kennedy conservative majority into a 5-4 solid conservative majority. Most people who insist that Kavanaugh was guilty or that there should be an investigation want to prevent this. Most people who insist that Kavanaugh is innocent or a victim or just a kid really care about 5-4.

      5-4. That's all any of this is really about. 99% of the people pretending otherwise are liars.

      Objective truth is dead and has been dead for a long time.

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    18. Very true, and based on one's political perspective they will assume they knew what the truth was, even though none of us were a fly on the wall.

      These sexual assault allegations against prominent people have an eerie similarity to questionable police shoots of suspects.

      When facts are real sketchy, and there is a paucity of witnesses aside form those directly involved, and we really need the true facts to determine if a sexual assault actually occurred, or whether a police shoot was bad, an interesting human dynamic takes over. People start filling in the facts(composing their own facts, if you will) based on their own leanings, prejudices, and what they want the facts to be, in order to justify the results they want.

      So, 5:10 hit the nail on the head. If the President stunned everyone by nominating a moderate, and let's say a moderate who happens to be quite supportive of a woman's right to choose, it would not just be the Republicans rallying behind this nominee. Democrats would be bellowing about how it is 36 years ago, she never came forward, it's all b.s., etc.

      I'm noticed that there are times the left will defend a man accused of sexual assault--and that is when the allegations are levelled against a male with a liberal record and liberal beliefs.

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  3. Nominate Kapernick, the Supreme Savior of America's Soul

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  4. Surprised the judge believed the best approach is to nullify election results because the winning candidate failed to timely file a campaign finance report.

    That in no way disqualifies the winner.

    I'm not denying the failure to file these reports can be a serious matter and can lead to ethical proceedings as well as possible criminal proceedings as well. Therefore, it could be that the eventual results of any such proceedings, particularly criminal proceedings, could be far more serious that the judge denying the person the position. I would much rather be denied the position than be criminally prosecuted. That all said, these matters are customarily dealt with by the oppressive fines, which increase dramatically with each passing day and week that the filing is late.

    But that's not the point. The point that if the relevant agencies,(ethics agencies as well as criminal law enforcement agencies),eventually decide to pursue him, it is a lengthy, involved process where critical rights and protocol are fully protected must be adhered to.

    But the judge should not simply decide that the better and more expedient approach is to simply remove someone from office.

    It's also a somewhat myopic approach in that it ignores the flood gates that will invariably fly open. Candidates will now insist their opponents, even those who defeat them, be disqualified if they are one day late with the report. That's what this decision turns a blind eye to. Seldom does someone say they will not file a report. They invariably simply assert that they are late filing it and are wiling to pay the fines. Many, many people are late with the filings. Are we now prepared to deal with all these people the way the judge did? If not, we are now inviting selective enforcement arguments, arguments concerning equal protection violations, etc.

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    1. The RJ article says: "The judge ruled in Miller’s favor after Burke didn’t show up to a Sept. 13 court hearing, according to court minutes. Burke said he was never notified about the hearing."

      If Burke essentially lost by default, then this makes a bit more sense. I wonder how much analysis the judge even did on the merits of the legal issue. I agree, it's not a disqualifier.

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  5. 4:30, that was classy. It brings a smile to see that kind of humility and graciousness in a land of trolls.

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    1. If I could upvote, I would!

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  6. Get on the Laxalt backward bus.

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  7. You can all hate on me if you want, but I truly don't care what he did 35 years ago, i care if he will interpret conservatively on the bench

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    1. Get on the Laxalt backward bus. Give Chris Rose my best!

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    2. Trump has a whole list of dudes that will interpret conservatively from the bench.

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  8. For everyone saying the issue with Kavanaugh is his current lie or coverup as opposed to taking responsibility for what happened 35 years ago misses the fault with that argument. It wholly ignores due process in favor of assuming his guilt. That is what this me too movement has become. It is quite sad and scary. Even if you were to believe the accuser's version of events, it sounds like a 17-year-old boy tried to hook up with a girl and got nowhere. It doesn't sound close to being a crime. Though crying rape based on the version of events described by the accuser is another problem with the me too movement, everything becomes a rape accusation. Seemingly society has lost the ability to take facts (or what is alleged as facts) and place them into context. The facts don't sound even close to rape and I'd say not even sexual assault. Another issue concerns the timing. Even ignoring the blaring political motivation behind the timing to delay the vote, politics aside, this woman comes forward with the expectation that her unverified and unverifiable version of events will have the intended consequence of derailing Kavanaugh's nomination. But, what about consequences for her in having waited 35 years to bring this up when he's been in the public eye for a number of years already? I'm sorry if the incident actually occurred, but even if it was an attempted sexual assault, it unfortunately should not derail the appointment because of the age of the accusation that causes it to be unverifiable. Now, before all these feminists get their pink panties in a bunch defending her reason for not coming forward sooner, to that I say, that is just another consequence of her decision to wait. I know women who didn't keep quiet at the time of a sexual assault. That is the smart way to handle a sexual assault, not waiting 35 years to come forward at an opportune time for political purposes. Another fact that has come out that us being ignored is the accuser's mom had her home foreclosed upon and Kavanaugh played a role in that as the judge allowing it to proceed. That provides another reason for the opportune timing of the accuser's timing. All in all, the benefit of the doubt (even though I don't personally believe there is a doubt) needs to go to Kavanaugh.

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    1. Wow. Holding a 15 year old girl down, raising the music so no one would hear her scream and then covering her mouth potentially suffocating her while trying to tear her clothes off sounds like a "hook up?" I wonder what constitutes sexual assault in your mind? Actually, I don't as you appear to have a deep seated hatred for women. And you are clueless about the foreclosure proceedings. It didn't happen that way at all.

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    2. I will agree with 9:26 to the limited extent that the acts alleged, even if true, do not constitute a rape. I do not know whether the state in which this incident is alleged to have occurred even had the crime of sexual assault on its books at the time that this incident is alleged so it is quite possible that even if true it was not a "sexual assault".

      I have to disagree with 9:26, however, in that if the allegations are true then at a minimum they would constitute a battery. Depending how the state at the time defined rape, it could also possibly constitute an attempted rape.

      Victims of crime are an interesting people. Many times they choose not to report being victimized for a myriad of reasons, many times personal in nature and seemingly irrational to casual observers. Would we all have preferred that crimes always be reported timely.. a resounding yes. Is that ever going to occur... no. Does the failure to timely report automatically equate to the late report being false... also no.

      Personally, I have no idea what happened during the evening in question, nor do I think will we as a nation ever definitively have that answer. I do not, however, see any compelling reason to rush the process of confirming Judge Kavanaugh's nomination before allowing the process to play itself out with a full vetting of the allegation (along with obtaining the full record of his White House work from the National Archive). I understand the desire to have the new justice seated prior to the start of the new term on the first Monday in October, but lets be honest... the republic will not fail if the court proceeds for a couple weeks or months with 8 justices instead of the full complement of 9. It won't be the first or last time that has occurred (the court went about a year with 8 after Justice Scalia passed away). The risk to the republic is far greater by seating someone that shouldn't be on the court than it will ever be by a short delay in seating someone who should be.

      At the end of the day, Judge Kavanaugh may or may not be appropriate for the seat, I am not offering an opinion either way on that question as that is one for the senate to ultimately decide. I just believe that the process should be protected, that all interested parties be given a fair opportunity to be heard, and a full record be developed. Once that has occurred, let the chips fall where they may.

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    3. To:9:26. I don't think most posters have assumed guilt.

      Instead they tend to frame it as follows: If evidence suggests not guilty, game over. But if it suggests guilt, then to what degree, and how much of it can be excused due to very tender years, intoxication, and great remoteness in time, etc.

      If people conclude it is something particularly violent, they are less likely to forgive based on remoteness of time, tender years and drunkenness.

      But if they conclude something less serious happened and they are fairly convinced of what did occur, but are willing to forgive if there is a degree of acknowledgement, at this time it now becomes a character flaw if he now lies about it.

      So, if something did in fact occur(and who the Hell yet knows if it did or not), and if it is something we could otherwise accept as not being sufficient to derail the appointment, then the landscape changes. It's no longer merely about whether we are willing to forgive the actions of a drunken 17-year-old, it becomes are we willing to forgive a 53-year-old who is now willing to perjure himself about that in order to attain the postion.

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    4. Got Damned, people. "it sounds like a 17-year-old boy tried to hook up with a girl and got nowhere???!!!"

      Trying to hook up with a girl: "hey beautiful, wanna hook up?"

      Trying to rape a girl: lock her in a room, climb on her, cover her mouth with your hand so she can't scream, and attempt to undress her while she's frantically trying to get loose under you.

      What do you NOT understand about this difference????!!!! Fuck!

      Signed, parent of GIRLS

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  9. To: 2:16. Agree that 9:26 framing this as a hook up either does not know the details of the allegations and/or is being quite insensitive, or perhaps far worse.

    Agree with that. But I also am the parent of a girl, yet will presume nothing against him till the evidence is in.

    If it is established, to the satisfaction of the committee, that he did in fact lock her in the room, climbed on her, covered her mouth and tried to rip her clothes off and tried to rape her, this clearly disqualifies him no matter young and drunk he was.

    But if it is established that he did do something, but it is far, far less than all that, and that it is not necessarily disqualifying based on tender years, intoxication, and extreme remoteness in time, then we should examine whether he acknowledges it.

    If it is deemed that it is ultimately forgivable, and not disqualifying, if he has the strength of character to own it and recognize how completely unacceptable it is, then perhaps he should receive the appointment.

    But if we have the scenario wherein something occurred and it becomes critical to what extent he acknowledges and deeply regrets it all, then it is not so simple as whether we are willing to forgive a drunken 17-year-old. The issue becomes if he is now, at age 53, willing to perjure himself about this in order to attain this seat of profound, far-reaching power and significance, he is then not qualified to serve.

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    1. 2:16 here. You are conflating two different issues: Kavanaugh's innocence or guilt, which absolutely will depend on Evidence, and the (statutorily barred, blah, blah, blah) CRIME of which he is being accused. What is so infuriating--and pernicious--here is the transparently shameful attempt to downplay the alleged CRIME by referring to it with such harmless nouns as "hookup" or "youthful, drunken indiscretion." Whether or not Kavanaugh can be proven guilty, we do a great and lasting harm to our female children when we call attempted RAPE by a more socially acceptable name.

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    2. Many posters on this blog seem to have an inability or unwillingness to truly read and comprehend--perhaps because they are conditioned to be in such a hurry to get through what they are ready so they can immediately contradict it and take the other poster to task.

      Perhaps this is because we are trained as lawyers to eviscerate and contradict everything in a brief we are responding to. But when attorneys read too quickly, and don't concentrate because we are in such a hurry to accomplish filing an opposing brief which eviscerates the opposition, we can miss key points and can lose in court on key issues.

      This leads to the loss of any nuance, and even when certain attorneys partially agree with something, they concede nothing and contradict everything.

      Look at the above as a prime example. 4:14 seems to fall squarely into this irritating category. 4:14 starts off by taking 2:31 to task for conflating two different stories, and really takes 2:31 to task because 4:14 really wishes to continue to drive the point home, that they already hammered on earlier like in 2:16 which is 4:14's earlier post on this matter.

      That point is that if the allegations are essentially as alleged, that this constitutes a violent sexual attack, and that there should be no tolerance for those who attempt to minimize, mitigate or excuse it as drunken behavior, youthful indiscretion, etc.

      4:14 is completely right as to that point. Problem is, although 4:14 attacks 2:31, it is abundantly clear that 2:31 feels exactly the same way,and that if the facts are as alleged, it is a horrendous, inexcusable violent sexual attack.

      Since 4:14 clearly has a penchant to pompously and pedantically criticize and correct those 4:14 actually fully agree with, I would not relish seeing how 4:14 reacts to someone they do actually disagree with.

      Is this what modern discourse has deteriorated into? We avoid common ground and we are so itching for a disagreement and argument that we criticize the positions of those whose positions actually mirror our own?

      And this is quite common on this blog.

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    3. "if the allegations are essentially as alleged"

      the allegations are as alleged, and those allegations are of sexual assault and attempted rape

      (the question of whether he is innocent, and he is presumed to be, or guilty remains open)

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  10. I think when the person posted "if the allegations are as alleged", I think they knew the allegations are sexual assault and attempted rape"

    I think what they meant is that if the commission members conclude that the allegations are fully supported, as opposed to the evidence leading to something lesser, or even a determination that it is difficult to determine at all what occurred.

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