Friday, September 28, 2018
► BREAKING from the Washington Post– Senate panel backs Kavanaugh; Flake requests FBI probe — The Senate Judiciary Committee voted along party lines Friday to advance the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh after securing a key vote from Sen. Jeff Flake, who asked for a delay of up to a week before the full Senate votes. Flake (R-Ariz.) said the delay would allow a limited FBI investigation of allegations of sexual assault while Kavanaugh was a teenager.
► In today’s NY Times — Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford duel with tears and fury — Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser faced off Thursday in an extraordinary, emotional day of testimony that ricocheted from a woman’s tremulous account of sexual assault to a man’s angry, outraged denial, all of which played out for hours before a riveted nation and a riven Senate. Kavanaugh’s fate most likely rests with a handful of undecided senators.
ALSO at The Stand — Murray: Kavanaugh should withdraw
► In today’s NY Times — Why Brett Kavanaugh wasn’t believable. And why Christine Blasey Ford was. (editorial) — Where Christine Blasey Ford was calm and dignified, Brett Kavanaugh was volatile and belligerent; where she was eager to respond fully to every questioner, and kept worrying whether she was being “helpful” enough, he was openly contemptuous of several senators; most important, where she was credible and unshakable at every point in her testimony, he was at some points evasive, and some of his answers strained credulity… Perhaps the most maddening part of Thursday’s hearing was the cowardice of the committee’s 11 Republicans, all of them men, and none of them, apparently, capable of asking Dr. Blasey a single question… There is no reason the committee needs to hold this vote before the FBI can do a proper investigation, and Mark Judge and possibly other witnesses can be called to testify under oath. The Senate, and the American people, need to know the truth, or as close an approximation as possible, before deciding whether Judge Kavanaugh should get a lifetime seat on the nation’s highest court. If the committee will not make a more serious effort, the only choice for senators seeking to protect the credibility of the Supreme Court will be to vote no.
► In today’s Washington Post — The Senate can’t vote on Kavanaugh now (editorial) — If he is the victim of some terrible case of mistaken identity, Kavanaugh’s anger is understandable, but his partisan conspiracy-theorizing was hardly becoming of a potential Supreme Court justice. Ford, whose life and family have been upended, deserved better than the condescension shown by a number of Republican senators and, more to the point, their unwillingness to vet her claims.
► In today’s Washington Post — American Bar Association calls for FBI investigation into Kavanaugh allegations, delay in confirmation votes
► In today’s Washington Post — Senate GOP forging ahead with Kavanaugh vote today shows why Ford sought to stay silent — Ford’s first fear has undoubtedly materialized: she will be a household name for the rest of her life. She’s received death threats. She’s needed to hire body guards. She’s been staying apart from her children as a security precaution. Increasingly, it looks like Ford’s second worry may also come true: that it would all be for naught.
► In today’s NY Times — Brett Kavanaugh disrobed (by Dana Milbank) — Brett Kavanaugh proved himself unfit to serve on the Supreme Court. It has little to do with his treatment of women. Kavanaugh’s freshman-year roommate at Yale had told the New Yorker that the future Supreme Court nominee could become “aggressive “and “belligerent” when drunk. But, as millions have now seen with their own eyes, he is aggressive and belligerent when stone-cold sober.
► In today’s Washington Post — HOW DARE YOU DO THIS TO BRETT KAVANAUGH (by Alexandra Petri) — ARE YOU GOING TO BELIEVE HER, AMERICA? OVER HIM, AMERICA? YOU HEARD THE WOMAN! SHE DOESN’T EVEN LIKE TO FLY! YET SHE FLEW HERE! SHE DOESN’T REMEMBER ALL THE DETAILS OF THE EVENING, WHEREAS HE KEPT A CALENDAR, LIKE HIS FATHER BEFORE HIM! HE IS NOT EMOTIONAL! YOU ARE EMOTIONAL! NO, YOU LISTEN!
► In today’s Columbian — Cantwell, Murray, Herrera Beutler react to Ford testimony — Herrera Beutler said in a statement: “I haven’t formed my opinion yet because I haven’t even been able to watch Dr. Ford testify.”
► A MUST-READ in today’s NY Times — Bonfire of Republican vanities (by Timothy Egan) — Story follows character, as the Greeks knew, and what we’re seeing now with the Bonfire of Republican Vanities is the predictable outcome of those who enabled the amoral presidency of Donald Trump. The bargain was simple: Republicans would get tax cuts for the well-connected and a right-wing majority on the Supreme Court, and in turn would overlook every assault on decency, truth, our oldest allies and most venerable principles. They expected Trump to govern by grudges, lie eight times a day, call women dogs, act as a useful idiot for foreign adversaries, make himself a laughingstock to the world… One good thing to come out of this debacle is the shining of a light on the policy shops promoting and protecting their own, the Ivy Leagues and fraternity of connected clerks. The gold standard. God forbid we would ever look outside the bubble of entitlement — to someone who went to a public university, to someone from the Midwest or West, to a person with life experiences closer to that of average Americans. Kavanaugh — teary, pouty and Trumpian — would have us believe this is about a simple misunderstanding. “I like beer,” he said. “I still like beer. But I did not drink beer to the point of blacking out.” He cried and cried and cried — for himself. Not enough tears to put out the fire. That will burn for some time.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Seattle woman says state Sen. Joe Fain raped her in 2007; Fain denies allegation — A Seattle woman said Thursday that prominent Washington state Sen. Joe Fain (R-Auburn) raped her after her college graduation in 2007. Fain denied the accusation and called for an investigation into the alleged incident. The woman, Candace Faber, tweeted about Fain on Thursday afternoon and later issued a statement saying “we cannot heal without accountability.” The tweet came after hours of televised testimony on sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Poll: Dino Rossi and Kim Schrier neck and neck in 8th CD race — The New York Times Upshot/Siena College poll, completed Wednesday, found Democrat Kim Schrier with 46 percent support, and Republican Dino Rossi at 45 percent, with 9 percent undecided. While just a single poll, the result is striking evidence that a national blue wave could reach a congressional district that has never sent a Democrat to the U.S. House. In 2016, Reichert won re-election by 20 percentage points.
EDITOR’S NOTE — The Washington State Labor Council, AFL-CIO has endorsed Dr. Kim Schrier in this race.
► In today’s Seattle Times — Washington’s proposed carbon tax: Smart move in a scary time (by Jon Talton) — Unlike a failed carbon-tax measure two years ago, I-1631 is carefully crafted to build a wide coalition of supporters, using the money raised to cut fossil-fuel dependency and also help poorer households and communities adjust… Washington will gain far more than it will risk with this historic measure.
► In today’s Seattle Times — To fix driver shortage, Seattle Public Schools bus contractor offers $22 starting pay and up to $3,000 hiring bonus — The district and its school-bus contractor, First Student, have implemented a few stopgap measures in the last week to help mitigate a bus-driver shortage.
► In today’s NY Times — Top minimum wage in U.S., $19, is planned for New York’s airport workers — As many as 40,000 workers at the three big airports that serve New York City are on a path to earning at least $19 an hour, the highest targeted minimum wage set by any public agency in the country and a major development in the battle over boosting income for those at the lower end of the pay scale.
The Stand posts links to Washington state and national news of interest every weekday morning by 10 a.m.