Reason Roundup

Kavanaugh Hysteria Enters Day Two: Reason Roundup

Plus: Twitter bias on trial today and China doesn't need our soybeans.

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Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings enter their second day. If they're anything like the first, we can expect some substantive material mixed in with a lot of weirdness, theatrics, and projection.

Sen. Ben Sasse gave the best speech of the day yesterday, decrying the "fundamental misunderstanding of the role of the Supreme Court in American life now." Sasse lamented that our "political commentary talks about the Supreme Court like they are people wearing red and blue jerseys. That's a really dangerous thing." He was of course pilloried by progressives for using the word hysteria in his speech. (Watch the whole thing here.) But hysteria is exactly the right word.

The hearings were flanked by protesters, including some dressed in the (now de riguer for the fashionable female demonstrator) red Handmaid's Tale cloaks. Josh Nelson—head of the group CREDO Action, which has also been driving anti-Kavanaugh billboard trucks around Capitol Hill for eight hours a day—was allegedly "dragged" out after shouting that the public questioning of a Supreme Court nominee by elected officials was "an attack on democracy" that needed to be shut down.

Twitter

He was far from the only one to interrupt the hearings with shouty and often incoherent complaints. (Actress Piper Perabo was also among those ushered out.)

Meanwhile, the way the woman behind Kavanaugh was resting her hand became fodder for some truly ridiculous fearmongering. The woman—Kavanaugh assistant Zina Bash, who is half Mexican and whose Polish grandparents survived the Holocaust—was accused by prominent activists, academics, and media of secretly signaling that she stood for white supremacy, by making what was once perceived as an "OK" hand gesture until 4chan trolls convinced certain folks that it was really code for white nationalism.

Whether Bash was secretly signalling Kavanaugh's true colors (she wasn't) became a major focus of coverage and conversation around the first day of the confirmation hearings.

Read more about the meat of yesterday's hearings in recent Reason posts from Damon Root ("Jeff Flake Says He'll Ask Brett Kavanaugh About Donald Trump's Constitutional Flaws" and "Brett Kavanaugh Praises Anthony Kennedy's 'Legacy of Liberty'"), John Stossel ("Libertarians should be happy about Trump's SCOTUS pick"), and Volokh Conspiracy bloggers Ilya Somin ("Kavanaugh Is Well Within the 'Mainstream'—but 'Mainstream' Isn't Always Good") and Gail Heriot ("Sen. Durbin's Attack on the Federalist Society at the Kavanaugh Hearing Is Silly").

FREE MINDS

Twitter and Facebook executives are being summoned before Congress, this time to testify on foreign election ads and influence (again) and alleged bias by Twitter against conservatives.

Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.)—the one recently circulating inane internet regulation proposals—said that it "will be a successful hearing [before the committee] if coming out of this are three or four notions on how we're going to be better prepared. What are the guardrails that should or could be put in place to make sure that Americans may think twice before they believe the validity of a post?"

FREE MARKETS

"China doesn't need U.S. soybeans." That is Beijing's message for us as Trump's trade war rages, and U.S. farmers starting to freak out, reports Time.

"If the trade tensions cannot be resolved quickly, the decrease in purchasing volumes of American soybeans will continue," said Mu Yan Kui, a grain-company exec and vice chairman of China National Association of Grain Economy. "Many people have underestimated the Chinese people."

QUICK HITS

  • "Prosecuting homeless people for sleeping on public property when they have no access to shelter violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment," the Los Angeles Times reports of a new federal appeals court decision.
  • A sexual assault charge against Kevin Spacey has been dropped.

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NEXT: Brett Kavanaugh Praises Anthony Kennedy's 'Legacy of Liberty.' Many Conservatives Won't Like the Sound of That.

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  1. You can bet if it was Tim Cavanaugh being confirmed to the Supreme Court, Roundup would have been on time.

  2. Bret Kavanaugh confirmation hearings enter their second day.

    And like Hitler in his bunker, he’s still hiding his paper trail from Democrats.

    1. He’s been a judge for a while, he has a judicial record. What he did as a lawyer for prior administrations is about as relevant as his first grade report cards.

      1. When it comes to discovering the hidden biases of Supreme Court justice nominees, no stone should be left unturned. No matter how impartial a judge claims to be when interpreting law, we know that his biases can pervert his judgement.

        Unlike journalists, who have the best intentions and are always completely faithful. Just ask them.

      2. In his acceptance speech, Kavanaugh portrayed himself as a boot-licking shill. As such, his political work does appear relevant, particularly to those who worry that Kavanaugh could help Trump to stay out of trouble and consequently embolden future aspiring despots.

      3. Wait! You mean he hasn’t turned over his first grade report cards? What is he hiding?

  3. “China doesn’t need U.S. soybeans.”

    mr trump, tear down that hull

  4. Meanwhile, the way the woman behind Kavanaugh was resting her hand became fodder for some truly ridiculous fearmongering.

    You know who else made certain hand gestures?

    1. My vaseline-covered wrestling boy after being put in a scrumptious crotch-lock by yours truly?

      1. Don’t ever change, Tony Colored Like The Sun.

    2. Flavor Flav?

    3. Joe Cocker?

    4. Koko the gorilla?

      1. *signs “I love you”*

    5. My orphans on the asembly line when there’s been no potty break for last 8 hours?

    6. Ronnie James Dio?

    7. Me, every day in traffic.

    8. Jim Henson

    9. Tricky Dick [my dick does tricks]?

    10. Jameis Winston?

    11. Arturo Toscanini?

    12. Arnold Schwarzenegger, while screaming “get to da choppah!”?

    13. Kids playing the circle game in middle school?

  5. Twitter and Facebook executives are being summoned before Congress, this time to testify on foreign election ads and influence (again) and alleged bias by Twitter against conservatives.

    we’ve switched the bags of questions for kavanaugh and facebook, let’s see if anyone notices.

  6. “China doesn’t need U.S. soybeans.” That is Beijing’s message for us as Trump’s trade war rages, and U.S. farmers starting to freak out, reports Time.

    Relax. Washington will just force Americans to put soybeans in their gas tanks or something.

    1. I suppose it might be possible to make biodiesel out of soybean oil.

  7. Shareholder lawsuit, anyone? You partner with elected officials, you stop getting to claim you’re just a free market actor.

    Levi Strauss Forms Gun-Control Group with Bloomberg, Pushes Employees to Donate
    Clothing company plans to spend millions advocating new gun-control laws

    Levi Strauss announced on Tuesday it would be creating a new gun-control group with billionaire Michael Bloomberg and donating millions of dollars to a collection of established gun-control groups.

    1. I suppose, not having principles means never having to explain the logical implications of one’s advocacy.

    2. Well I guess I’ll be sitting at my desk in my underwear for the rest of the day, and burning all of my jeans when I get home.

      1. Don’t forget to burn your Nike shoes and to throw away your Harley while you are at it.

      2. So, a regular Wednesday for you?

    3. Well that’s disappointing.

      “Icon of the Independent American West fucks self determination in the ear.”

  8. What are the guardrails that should or could be put in place to make sure that Americans may think twice before they believe the validity of a post

    metaphors are so desperate to drive this country into ditches

  9. A sexual assault charge against Kevin Spacey has been dropped.

    Phew. Now I can finish House of Cards.

    1. Kaiser Soze is still named in a civil suit, however. The cops are on his trail.

      1. Lester Burnham is facedown in a pool of his own blood, blissfully.

    2. You want to stop before the devil’s three way in season 2. Trust me.

  10. Obamacare Requirement Blamed For Doctor Burnout
    A government requirement in the massive Obamacare law is being blamed for the burnout of doctors across the United States. A new report found that over just three years as Obamacare was being implemented, “physician burnout increased significantly, from 45.5 percent to 54.4 percent.”

    The report published in the American Journal of Medicine found that the electronic health records (EHR) is destroying the relationship between doctors and patients. The Citizens’ Council for Health Freedom charges the Obamacare requirement that doctors use electronic health records has caused a surge of burnout in the medical profession, explains Joseph Farah’s G2 Bulletin. “The EHR is causing doctors to leave their patients,” said Twila Brase, the president of CCHF and the author of “Big Brother in the Exam Room: The Dangerous Truth About Electronic Health Records.”

    “Congress forced doctors to buy and use computerized record systems to collect and report patient data to the government. And it’s wreaking havoc on their practices and their patients,” said Brase according to WND. Brase’s book is opening eyes to the problems of government interference in markets ? especially the healthcare market.

    1. I agree that EHR are increasing the burdens on doctors, while providing no benefits to the patients or the people paying for the care. But really, shtfplan.com is the best link we can get for news coverage on this?

    2. Meh. Doctors are given a monopoly on health care by the government. If they can’t live up to that, tough.

  11. There Is No Grassroots Energy Rallying for Brett Kavanaugh. None.

    The Intercept doesn’t understand how things work. No one is excited for anyone in DC. Voters only get amped up against some one or thing on offer.

    1. Then what would you suggest the good Reverend or Hihn use to convey their superiority to us plebes?

  12. If Kavanaugh is confirmed he will force Ryan Gosling to give the White Supremacist hand signal while he is planting the flag on the moon.

    1. As if the space Jews will stand for this.

      1. Please, use the PC term “Ferengi” instead.

        1. Might as well abstract everything to Star Trek terminology and use Cardassian too.
          What race is the most lolbertarian?

          1. None?

            Picard has some moments of libertarianism… “THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS!”

          2. It would have to be Orion. Basically Star Trek’s version of Somalia.

        2. The word you’re looking for is ‘Mormon’.

          1. Got an extra ‘m’ in there…

            1. I’ve never heard of the Ormons.

    2. I don’t understand why the flag planting was left out. The producers spared no expense for this film, even going so far as to use the same set as the original “moon landing.”

      1. ISWYDT

      2. *applause*

  13. Ugly bitches and soyboys randomly screaming out in Congress is definitely not a sign of progressive insanity.
    Not at all.

  14. Someone inform these folks that Halloween is still a ways away.

  15. “was accused by prominent activists, academics, and media of secretly signaling that she stood for white supremacy,”

    Perhaps the best aspect of the left never being censored is that they have an unlimited opportunity to displays their retardation.

    1. Lunacy is the only form of bipartisanship we have left.

    2. Adjunct to inept leadership, the Romans had barbarians to finish them off, from the inside and out. We have social media performing the same task. The most extreme versions of non reality has a platform to become common wisdom.

  16. The sign is the circle game. If you look at it the person gets to punch you.

    That woman owes these folks a lot of punches.

    1. I hope she gets to do just that.

      1. If she gets too tired, I volunteer to help her out!

  17. …this time to testify on foreign election ads and influence (again) and alleged bias by Twitter against conservatives.

    Well, I’m not sure how this turns into Hillary being president but I’m game for anything.

  18. secretly signaling that she stood for white supremacy, by making what was once perceived as an “OK” hand gesture until 4chan trolls convinced certain folks that it was really code for white nationalism

    I’d really love to know how many people are actually crazy enough to believe this stuff. Sometimes it seems like the true divide in this country is between the Ricks and Mortys progressives and conservatives who pay attention to social media, and the rest of us.

    1. It seems to me that the amount of conspiracy theorists is higher now than before. But it could be that they just have more access to public platforms (social media) to voice these crazy theories.

      1. Conspiracy theorists are nothing new. Trust me on this one. I’m old enough to remember the Kennedy assassination.

        1. Hell, you’re old enough to remember the Franz Ferdinand assassination!

    2. “I’d really love to know how many people are actually crazy enough to believe this stuff.”

      For the love of God, don’t read the twitter replies in the link ENB provided. It will dash any remaining hopes you had for the human race into tiny fragmented shards of despair.

      1. Progressives aren’t human

        1. Progressives don’t exactly have the market cornered on conspiracy theories like this. Let us not forget birtherism or Alex Freaking Jones. It seems that whichever group is out of power dominates that moment.

        2. They are proto-Eloi.

      2. For the love of God, don’t read the twitter replies in the link ENB provided.

        Why would I read anything on twitter?

        1. Ya know how when you’re a kid and you’ve got a loose tooth. You keep pushing on the tooth, not despite the pain, but because you actually enjoy the controlled amount of pain you can inflict. And even though the end result of that loose tooth pain will be a temporary disfigurement in your mouth, the excitement of losing that tooth motivates you to keep pushing on it.

          Twitter is kind of like that.

    3. Thanks to social media, the most extreme versions of non reality now has a platform to appear as common wisdom.

    4. I dunno. Tony and ChemJeff think you’re a racist if you support border security and voted for Trump.

      And there’s Shikha, whose rabid pro illegal immigration anti-Trump screeds come close to tinfoil-hat quality.

      If you read Reason regularly, its obvious they don’t think much of Trump. I could see some of the staff falling for something like this.

  19. http://www.americanthinker.com…..t_hit.html

    Undocumented Democrats dropping out of welfare programs. But reason assures me that immigrants never go on welfare.

    1. Show me where they said “never”. Just one fucking time. Show me. Hell, I’ll even accept a current or former Reason writer/staffer/intern/houseboy say immigrants NEVER take welfare on Twitter or any other platform as a confirmation that you are arguing in good faith and I jumped the gun.

      In lieu of written or spoken incidents of any current or former Reason writers/staffers/interns/houseboys claiming that immigrants NEVER take welfare YOU agree to admit, fucking finally, that you get a big boy boner by arguing in bad faith any chance you get.

      I’ll even get a blockchain contract sorted out so we can make this all official-like too!

      1. …damn, Rattlehead, how fat are you? I ask because the only possible explanation for this eruption is that John touched you in a very bad place, and, well, we all know John’s proclivities for the chubbier kind.

        1. Look, I’m not saying I fit the stereotype of a middle-aged libertarian and former metal head, but….

          Also, you’re missing at least one “formerly” from your URL, or am I mistaken?

      2. Since the late 1990s, most legal immigrants and all illegals are barred from receiving means-tested welfare. The only real taxpayer-funded services most immigrants use are emergency medical treatments that account for less than 2 percent of all health-care spending and K-12 education services for their children, who often times are U.S. citizens. For those immigrants who do qualify for programs such as Medicaid, food stamps (SNAP), or supplemental Social Security income (SSI), they use all these programs at lower rates that native-born Americans or naturalized citizens. It’s also worth noting that immigrants come here to work, not collect WIC. Legal immigrant men have a labor-force participation rate of about 80 percent, which is 10 points higher than that of natives. Illegal immigrant men have a participation rate of 94 percent, precisely because they can’t access welfare.

        https://reason.com/reasontv/201…..mmigration

        Right there.

        1. I did a CTRL-F on that block of text and “never” or its synonyms are conspicuously absent. I guess maybe you are referring to “…illegals are barred from receiving…” which is nowhere near the same as saying “illegals never go on welfare.”

          Keep trying, my friend! Or don’t, it’s not that important. But it’s so annoying lurking these comment threads and seeing straight up misrepresentations of other’s arguments from generally smart, fairly libertarian (or at least libertarian-leaning) folks.

  20. Feinstein: “Are you trying to use numbers to define common use?”
    Said with incredulous horror.

    1. You could say my AR is not in common use. It mostly collects dust by my bed. I’m glad I don’t need to use it regularly.

    2. How the fuck else would you define it?

      You wanna know how common AR-15s are?

      I have accidentally ended up owning two of them, and I don’t even like the AR platform.

      1. What is it you don’t like about the platform? This it’s DGI? Sure the inside of the receiver gets filthy as shit but it works.

        1. That mostly. I dunno. It just seems like a more finicky design than either the AK or FAL. But they are growing on me.

          I just think it’s funny that I don’t like them and I still have some. Buddy of mine moved to Europe and just gave me all his gear.

      2. I have three that I rarely shoot. One that I haven’t shot at all.

        So she has a point!

      1. Holy god. That’s… amazing.

  21. There is a myth out there that the country is evenly divided on the question of abortion. That’s a lie.

    Well, sure–the vast majority support restricting it to varying degrees. The even divide is on whether it should actually be legal or not.

    1. The basic truth of American attitudes toward abortion–one that has changed rather shockingly not at all in forty years, even as not wanting to fuck a chick with a dick has become a human rights violation–is how moderate it is. (Men more so than women, which is the only appreciable difference on the issue–women cluster on both extremes.) Neither extreme has been particularly eager to acknowledge this. (I say this as a proud pro-life extremist myself.)

      But the Left–changing drastically even where the nation has not–has backed itself into a real corner on this issue. The current position of the Democrats is that Mom should have the sole right and prerogative to crush Baby to death in her womb on the day before he is scheduled to be delivered, for no better reason than her own whim if she so chooses. And furthermore, that her employer or provider should be required to pay her to do it even if it is a religious organization, and that you and I should pay her if she has no employer, and that we are impinging on her personal liberty and committing a horrible human rights violation if we balk at doing so. (And furthermore nowadays, she should shout the joy of her decision with loud and proud.) Most Americans are against this.

      1. *crush healthy Baby to death, I meant to add.

      2. The current position of the pro-lifers is that Mom should have the sole right and prerogative to push Baby to life outside her womb, for no better reason than her own whim if she so chooses. And furthermore, that her employer or provider should be required to pay her to do it even if it is not a religious organization, and that you and I should pay her if she has no employer, and that we are impinging on her personal liberty and committing a horrible human rights violation if we balk at doing so.

        1. This reads like it was written by a proponent of forced abortions. So I think whatever point you were trying to make is lost

          1. This reads like it was written by a proponent survivor of forced abortions.

            FTFY

        2. That was some nonsensical gibberish right there. Whatever cleverness you were trying to pull off, your low-effort word substitution worked about as well as parodying “Open Borders Liberal-tarian” as “Leave Trump Alone Liberal-tarian”–the latter of which, come to think of it, I therefore suspect you of being.

          I’m not even sure you didn’t inadvertently make your own position look stupider, and mine less extreme, than they actually are. (You almost certainly did, but I’m done putting effort into parsing it.)

  22. A report from Rufus’s commie dystopia–where an ordinary, prominent for-hire market and political research company sees nothing out of the routine to pepper their staid reports with casual references to the “ever-escalating carnage” and “nightmarish carnage seizing the United States.” (“The gun crisis in the United States is an incomprehensible stew of ideology and the profound influence of the NRA,” they report. One might think the job of a political researcher is, in fact, to comprehend the basic political factors at play, and to explain it, rather than to contemptuously throw up one’s hands and say, “Well, who the fuck knows, right?” But never mind.)

    Anyway, some rather surprising tidbits in the actual surveys among the expected stuff. The question is whether there should be a total ban on all guns in urban areas in Canada. And the most gun-grabby party is, in fact, Rufus’s very own Liberals! In contrast the NDPers (despite having the most extreme gun-grabby politicians) are far more pro-gun than the Libs; and the Greens far more still! They’re the second-most pro-gun party (by Canadian standards, of course)–much, much closer to the Conservatives than the extremely grabby Liberals!

    1. …Another interesting point is that there is a steady, significant correlation across the board of age to gun attitudes. As in, the younger a Canadian is the more pro-gun he is!

  23. Woodward is a respected, ethical and serious journalist w/decades of credibility

    Who is notorious for constructing conversations in his books as though they actually occurred, instead of making it clear that they are simply projections about what might have been said given variously related details about the circumstances of said conversations.

    “serious journalist w/decades of credibility”…debatable.

    1. Woodward writes the same sort of horseshit innuendo based book about every administration. None of it ever turns out to be true or significant if it is.

      1. What did he write about Obama? I seem to remember he wrote something.

        I thought people pretty much regarded him as having been “professional Watergate Hero Bob Woodward” on a forty-five year victory press tour since then–just shitting out a bunch of half-assed hack books that everyone tolerates out of politeness and respect for him as an institution. Like the young hero of a great war in times of old, pivotally saving his city-state through his brave actions in the most important battle of its history; and then he retires and lives out his days making a living travelling around Greece staging little half-assed mock battles and feats of strength until his old age. And people come from all around to see the great hero, and applaud politely but with genuine respect and eternal appreciation for what he had done.

        1. He wrote this

          http://www.amazon.com/Obamas-W…..1439172501

          While it is not nearly as slanderous of the Chocolate Jesus, it is still the same anonymous sourced innuendo and gossip that he uses here.

    2. I’m not sure Navarro really thought through the implications of Woodward being associated with a couple of gossip-mongers looking to make a quick buck off of the Trump Outrage Brigade. Hell, even Comey’s book sold something like 600,000 copies the first week.

  24. Woodward is a one-hit wonder who still tours w/Herman’s Hermits.

  25. Woodward is a respected, ethical and serious journalist w/decades of credibility”

    People weren’t saying that when he wrote a book about Obama, as i recall they were calling him a crazy old has been

  26. Twitter and Facebook executives are being summoned before Congress, this time to testify on foreign election ads and influence (again) and alleged bias by Twitter against conservatives.”

    whats interesting to me is why should twitter or FB or anyone be responsible to protect citizens from perceived outside political mischief. Isn’t that a constitutional requirement of the government. If the government can prove illegal foreign actions then they can inform the private entity to remove such material, it is not the private entities job to prove or disprove.

    1. Kind of like title ix and how that got turned around to say how schools are responsible for date rape and such as a part of the educational experience

  27. People I talk to seem to think the coverage and shenanigans surrounding the Kavanaugh hearing are all about lashing out at Trump.

    Seems to me that the Democrats are really trying hard to blow the midterms. This can certainly only help the chances of the Republicans maintaining control of the senate.

    1. The Democrats know they are going to lose seats in the Senate. This is why Schummer has rolled over and allowed the confirmation of a bunch of judges. He knows he is only going to be in a weaker position next year and appeals to commity are going to be all he has. It is all about the House for the Democrats. Taking the House is their only hope.

      1. Is even Ken coming around to the fact that the Republicans are going to expand their majority in the Senate? He has always thought they were going to lose both houses, by my recollection. (I myself think they are going to lose massive House and state leg seats–the beginning of their slide into the status of permanent, regional minority party in this country. Ken thinks they will roar back in 2020 stronger than ever. But even I think they will take the Senate decisively this year, and that it will remain their bulwark.)

      2. I dunno. Cruz is headed to defeat in Texas (where I live – lots of enthusiasm for Beto), and some of the pickups for Republicans (Florida, Missouri) aren’t looking good for them.

        1. Lol. Cruz is ahead by over 4% in the RCP poll average, which many would argue underestimates Republican support. It might be closer than he would like, but Cruz is going to win.

          Beto is just a male version of Wendy Davis.

  28. This hand signaling conspiracy is a new low for TDS. I need a vacation from twitter and I’m not even on it

    1. (Twitter Derangement Syndrome)

  29. Prog America! You have gone after the wrong Mexican Jew! Let us unite as a nation across all ideological boundaries to fight the real evil that has long been our common enemy.

  30. -Woodward is a respected, ethical and serious journalist w/decades of credibility. Therein lies Trump’s problem.

    Woodward has decades of uncredibility. The one thing he’s famous for was due to a No 2 wanting to depose No 1. Not that Nixon didn’t need to go or deserve to go; but he would have gone one way or the other. Woodward did not bring about his impeachment but built his career on that claim.

  31. “China doesn’t need U. S. soybeans”

    I must say I chuckled at the sight of those dedicated truth-seekers at Reason accepting the statements of a Chinese government official without any hint of skepticism.

    OF COURSE that’s what a high Chinese official would say on the record. How long would he have his job if he had said otherwise?

    The reality is China is getting pounded by the trade war, and they know it. While US stocks are up about 3% since January, Chinese stocks are down about 20%, and they keep falling.

    The Chinese are eventually going to cave, Xi is just looking for a way to do it without losing face.

    1. So protectionism is a good idea? Sounds like throwback liberalism.

  32. So is Reason now an apologist for Trump? Because Kavanaugh is either a boot-licking shill or a renowned expert in SCOTUS nomination process since our founding. I am going with boot-licking shill. If Kavanaugh gives Trump a get-out-of-jail-free card, then we will embolden future aspiring despots to take down our Republic.

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