Category Archives: Lobbying

‘Small lies matter’ and are disqualifying in and of themselves

However you may feel about former FBI Director James Comey, he said something this past week which should be determinative for U.S. senators: “small lies matter.”

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Falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus” is a legal principle that dictates jurors can rule a witness to be false in everything if he says one thing that is not true.

Judge Brett Kavanaugh has mislead the Senate and has told lies, both big and small, in each of his confirmation hearings over the years for the court of appeals and the Supreme Court. These lies are disqualifying in and of themselves. There should be no doubt after Thursday’s disastrous performance that Judge Kavanaugh is unfit to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court, and possibly even remain on the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

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Now we know why the GOP refused an FBI investigation and wanted to rush the Kavanaugh nomination to a vote

The White House and Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Sen. Chuck Grassley refused to request an FBI background check in light of the sexual assault allegations of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford against Judge Brett Kavanaugh. This is standard operating procedure for the committee but was refused in this instance, despite Dr. Blasey insisting on an FBI investigation before she presents her testimony.

Sen. Grassley has bullied and threatened Dr. Blasey over presenting her testimony, even threatening to proceed to a confirmation vote as early as Monday without her testimony unless Dr. Blasey agreed to Sen. Grassley’s unreasonable demands.

Legal minds have asked “why refuse an FBI background investigation?” and “what is the rush to confirmation?” since there is no actual deadline, other than the GOP’s political calendar for the midterm election.

Now we know the answer to those questions: the GOP is engaged in a cover-up.

On Sunday night, the New Yorker’s Ronan Farrow and Jane Mayer published an article detailing a new allegation of sexual misconduct against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, the Republican Supreme Court nominee. Deborah Ramirez, a Yale classmate from Kavanaugh’s undergraduate years, described a drunken freshman-year dormitory party during which she claims he exposed himself and thrust his penis into her face, causing her to touch it accidentally as she pushed him away. None of it, she said, occurred with her consent.

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GOP’s privileged white male patriarchy exposed by its bullying of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford

Over the past week, the GOP has revealed itself as the party of privileged white male patriarchy in its bullying of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. As the New York Times editorializes, G.O.P. Leaders Can’t Even Fake Respect for Christine Blasey Ford. Or for any women.

Senator Orrin Hatch, who so thoroughly disgraced himself during the Anita Hill hearings, suggested Dr. Blasey was “mixed up” (as in “a little bit nutty.”)

Those promoting Brett Kavanaugh concocted a doppelgänger theory to defame a classmate of Brett Kavauagh by accusing him of a criminal sexual assault. Conservative Pundit Points Finger at Another Man to Deflect from Kavanaugh (Ed Whelan has been involved in helping to advise Kavanaugh’s confirmation effort and is close friends with Kavanaugh and Leonard Leo, the head of the Federalist Society, who has been helping to spearhead the nomination); Kavanaugh ally says he did not communicate with White House or Supreme Court nominee about theory of another attacker. (In the wake of Ford’s allegation, Kavanaugh told White House officials and Republicans on Capitol Hill that it was potentially a case of mistaken identity, according to people who heard his comments or were familiar with the discussions.) Nothing suspicious there.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Senator Chuck Grassley, who also thoroughly disgraced himself during the Anita Hill hearings, has feigned that he wants Dr. Blasey to testify while doing everything in his power to make certain that she does not, or that she testifies under terms that are neither fair nor impartial. Grassley has issued threats and arbitrary deadlines to intimidate Dr.Blasey. His “take it or leave it” approach is dismissive of Dr.Blasey’s credible claim. “Let’s hear what the little lady has to say – blah, blah, blah – then let’s vote to confirm.”

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A rare victory over ‘dark money’ in a divided Supreme Court

Chief Justice John Roberts has dedicated his professional career to destroying the Voting Rights Act and destroying any and all campaign finance laws. He represents the millionaires and billionaires who want a corporatocracy to replace our democracy in a new Gilded Age. What a swell guy.

Last week, the Chief Justice granted an emergency application from Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategy, a nonprofit linked to American Crossroads, a “super PAC” started by Karl Rove, to stay the order of U.S. District Judge Beryl Howell which rejected a long-standing FEC regulation regarding disclosure, concluding that nonprofits like Crossroads Grassroots should be required to disclose any donors who give at least $200 toward any independent expenditures. See, Amy Howe at SCOTUSblog, Chief justice puts donor-disclosure ruling on hold. If allowed to stand, the ruling would be significant: Political nonprofits have spent over $700 million on “independent expenditures” since 2010.

Robert’s referred his temporary order to the full court, and the evenly divided Supreme Court denied the group’s application without comment or published dissent. The ruling means that the district court’s order invalidating the FEC’s regulation will go into effect for now.

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A sham hearing and a denial of due process

This is what GOP authoritarianism looks like: a sham hearing and a denial of due process to a victim of sexual abuse.

I explained yesterday, The Senate needs to get this right, and right now it is failing: for judicial background checks, the client is not the Senate but the White House. And the White House Hasn’t Asked FBI to Vet Kavanaugh Allegations, Sources Say.

The FBI background is the legally correct thing to do in fairness to both the accuser and the accused. Due process demands it. As Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) told the Washington Post, “If there’s a hearing before that investigation, the committee is going to be shooting in the dark with questions.” “As a former prosecutor and state attorney general, there’s no way I would put a crime survivor on the stand in front of a jury, let alone the American people, without a full investigation so that I know what the facts are before I start asking questions.”

On Tuesday, Christine Blasey Ford Requested That the F.B.I. to Investigate Kavanaugh Before She Testifies, a reasonable request, as is her right:

Speaking through lawyers, Christine Blasey Ford said she would cooperate with the Senate Judiciary Committee and left open the possibility of testifying later about her allegations against Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh. But echoing Senate Democrats, she said an investigation should be “the first step” before she is put “on national television to relive this traumatic and harrowing incident.”

Republicans signaled Tuesday night that they would not negotiate an alternative date and would go ahead with the hearing without her or declare it unnecessary if she refuses to appear, then possibly move to a vote. They have repeatedly stressed that Monday would be Dr. Blasey’s opportunity to testify, either privately or publicly, and that they planned to move forward with the confirmation process afterward.

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