Why it Will be Difficult to Assess Ford's Credibility

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

Ford acknowledges she didn't tell anyone in any detail about Kavanaugh's alleged sexual assault and attempted rape until thirty-two years after the incident. Under the best of circumstances, a thirty-two year time gap before an allegation surfaces would raise questions about the accuracy and completeness of complainant's memory. But this isn't the best of of circumstances. For one thing, everyone else who Ford claims was at the relevant party, including a lifelong friend of hers, has denied any knowledge of the party, much less the specific incident. For another, Ford doesn't remember the day, place, or even exact year of the incident.

That isn't necessarily fatal to her credibility, though it is obviously difficult for Kavanaugh to rebut an allegation that contains no verifiable details.

But there is another signficiant problem with assessing credibility in this case. In the absence of eyewitnesses or other corroborating evidence, I would want to know a lot more about this, from the original Washington Post news story reporting the allegations: "Years later, after going through psychotherapy, Ford said, she came to understand the incident as a trauma with lasting impact on her life. … She also said that in the longer term, it contributed to anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms with which she has struggled."

This raises many questions. What did she originally tell her therapist? Who was her therapist? Is her therapist known as a cautious clinician, or someone who believes in recovered memories, or what? What modalities of treatment did her therapist use? In particular, did she use hypnosis to either help Ford recover the memories, to render them less traumatic, or otherwise? When was Ford diagnosed with anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder? What other trauma(s), if any, led her to suffer from PTSD?

For example, the use of hypnosis in particular would render the details of any subsequent memories suspect. On the other hand, if she had described the incident in great detail without prompting, that would be a point in favor, though obviously not conclusive given the 30-plus year time gap.

If this were actual litigation, say Ford suing Kavanaugh for the incident, all of this information would be discoverable. The Senate does not appear inclined to subpoena the relevant records, assumedly for the obvious reason that this would be seen as an invasion of her privacy, perhaps an attack on her mental stability, and so on. It would just be bad politics. I'm pretty confident that Ford's lawyers won't turn these records over voluntarily. But without knowing in more detail how Ford came to see an incident that she had not confided to anyone about for thirty years as a significant trauma that she had previously not recognized as such, I don't know how anyone could begin to accurately assess the credibility of her allegations.

I've seen the following argument made over and over on social media: "I was sexually assaulted thirty year ago, and never told anyone. Dr. Ford claims she was sexually assaulted over thirty years ago, and never told anyone. Therefore, we should accept Dr. Ford's claims as true." This is not a logically sound argument. A more limited argument is logically sound: "I was sexually assaulted over thirty years ago, and I never told anyone. Therefore, the fact that someone didn't tell anyone for thirty years about a sexual assault doesn't mean that she is lying or imaging it."

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  1. Esq Prof Bernstein, you are behind the times, we’ve moved on to new more credibler accusations. Please don’t inject your white patrimonious excusations into this winning strategy.

    1. What more credibler accusations? The only other accusation against Kavanaugh that I am aware of is the indecent exposure thing and that is just as old, and half as credible as the Ford assault accusation.

      1. You have missed today’s gang rape accusations.

        1. I have not.

          And yet, I find no reference as to where these rapes took place.

        2. Again, back in high school, only brought up now because it looks like Ford’s accusation won’t stick. I don’t see any reason to consider it any more credible than Ford’s accusation at this point.

          1. I think Scarecrow was being sarcastic, the “credibler ” and the last sentence seem to be not serious.

            1. I rant for pages when I get serious. Since the only possible serious thing to say about this circus is “Wotta soicus!”, I chose not to rant.

          2. Again, back in high school, only brought up now because it looks like Ford’s accusation won’t stick.

            I enjoy watching the Republican Party become an exclusive club for old, rural, cranky, superstitious while males, mostly because I never acquired much of a taste for diffuse intolerance and belligerent ignorance.

            Carry on, clingers. Maybe revive that “lock her up” chant for those Brett Kavanaugh’s backers currently find inconvenient.

            1. Trump also won the white women vote.
              You’re gonna need a bigger club house.

              1. Women are permitted to visit the Republican clubhouse, but not much more. Check the lineup of the Republican side of the Senate Judiciary Committee today — just as white and male as the Volokh Conspiracy. Those cranky old men hired a female mouthpiece, but the images today are vivid.

                A number of white women are older, reside in rural areas, are poorly educated, and are superstitious. Those votes are available to the Republicans, in declining numbers. The Republican Party is being deservedly branded as backward and bigoted for at least a generation, however, and younger, properly educated women, including the white women, residing in successful, modern communities reject that intolerance, insularity, and ignorance.

            2. I guess all of the people who Bill Clinton attacked were “old, rural, cranky, superstitious while males”. I guess ‘believe women’ only applies to Republican defendants.

              I guess Karen Monahan must be an “old, rural, cranky, superstitious while male”. She doesn’t look like an old white male to me. But what do I know?

            3. I myself enjoy watching the Democratic Party as it cements its lease on the lunatic left bank, hoisting aloft the banners of hurt feelings and self-proclaimed ethnic moral superiority. It’s good that the Reverend has found his true home.

              1. Did you enjoy Dr. Ford’s testimony, HMI?

                More important, what do you think America’s women thought of it?

                Carry on, clingers.

                1. She testimony where she changed her story again? Or the one where she said her lawyers were incompetent and didn’t tell her what options to testify she had? Or where she actually admitted to lyig about that fear of flying tactic?

                2. Fuck off, slaver.

        3. The more accusations there are the less credible they all become.

          1. That’s not how that works. Less credible later accusations don’t retroactively remove credibility of earlier ones from different people.

            Good lord, even the more sober among you are going full-on outcome-before-truth.

  2. Even before the therapist, or Dr Ford’s politics, or anything else… the primary problem with Ford’s credibility is that she has made almost no statements that are falsifiable.

    It is impossible to prove that her described assault did not happen.
    It is impossible to prove that her described assault did happen.

    No law enforcement could act on this accusation, even if it wasn’t 35 years old.
    At this point, any conclusion is not a rational one – only faith can bridge the gap between the existing statements and the “truth”.

    1. “No law enforcement could act on this accusation, even if it wasn’t 35 years old.

      I raised this question with a Dallas Tx police investigator last week. His comment was that no police department is going to look into this (even assuming it was a current event). Teenagers, worse case, it was simply groping,
      “attempted rape” – yeah whatever – call us back when you have a real complaint.

      Point being – The Dallas police investigator sees genuine allegations of real crime, real misdemeanors and and imaginary crime all the time, This one had all the indices of conflated boorish behavior.

      1. This level of analysis from the birther-‘lock her up’-Benghazi Fever-Kenyan Muslim side of the aisle is entertaining.

        1. Rev – I am inclined to rely on the expertise of police crime investigator with 25+ years experience investigating real crimes.

          1. Who has proposed prosecuting Brett Kavanaugh for crimes?

            Get an education, Joe.

            1. Who has proposed prosecuting Brett Kavanaugh for crimes?

              Nobody, of course — doing that would entitle Kavanaugh to some semblance of due process and put his accusers to some semblance of a standard of proof.

              Why go to all that trouble when you can get the desired outcome through a trial by media over allegations that are carefully engineered to be both unverifiable and non-falsifiable?

              1. Ignore Rev- he is stuck in his echo chamber and is unable to follow the discussion. His responses rarely are coherent or even related to the topic.

                1. Right-wingers, especially those specializing in old-timey intolerance, tend to dislike my contributions.

                  I am content.

                  1. I enjoy your contributions – your actual contributions remain very rare – once every couple of months do you provide a contribution –

                  2. Yeah, most people don’t much care when the dog drops a big wet load in the living room floor. That sort of contribution is generally frowned upon.

                  3. I believe you have mistaken smug self-satisfaction for true contentment.
                    Enjoy your illusions.

              2. “Why go to all that trouble when you can get the desired outcome through a trial by media over allegations that are carefully engineered to be both unverifiable and non-falsifiable?”

                Go to “Timmy’s” house where Brett Kavanaugh’s diary puts him on July 1, 1982. Does the inside look like Dr. Ford’s description?

                Then go to some other places nearby that Brett Kavanaugh could possibly have gone to after having “skis” at “Timmy’s” with “Judge” and “PJ.”

                For example, it seems that Mark Judge may have a grandmother who lived in the area at the time. Does the inside of it look like Dr. Ford’s description?

            2. RALK, I have seen quite a few demands for criminal prosecution of BK in the left/liberal media.

            3. Who needs a trial. Just punish him first! – Kirkland

        2. The Rev. will continue to insist that those on the right are bigoted, uneducated and, worst of all, anti-science. Meanwhile, he will selectively choose to ignore the mountains of empirical scientific evidence on the unreliability of human memory, and the finding that even memories of traumatic events are shaped, modified, and altered by the human mind, so that even if Christine Ford is “100% certain” that this was not a case of mistaken identity, after 36 years there is a very high probability that her memory is faulty and should not be trusted. But the Rev. quite readily will ignore THAT science because, after all, science which doesn’t fully support the “progressive” agenda (like badic economics, for example) just can’t be “real” science.

          1. I believe a thorough investigation would be the proper way to handle this situation.

            What do you think?

            1. Then tel that to your brain-dead leftist buddies who are insisting on punishment before verdict.

            2. You believe a lot of stupid things. If there was actual evidence to investigate. It’s like liberals have completely forgot how our justice system works.

              1. “If there was actual evidence to investigate.”

                There’s plenty of evidence to investigate. Ford said Kavanaugh and Judge were the perpetrators. Kavanaugh has a calendar that shows he had (brew)”skis” at “Timmy’s house” on July 1, 1982, which would fit the timeline of Ford saying she saw Judge working at a Safeway “6-8 weeks” later.

                Ford gave a description of the house. Look at the inside of “Timmy’s house” if it still exists. Look at the insides of other houses nearby if it’s plausible that teenagers could have been in those houses without adults at the approximate time in question (summer of 1982).

                “It’s like liberals have completely forgot how our justice system works.”

                This is not (yet) a criminal matter.

            3. They already delayed the second hearing so Dr. Ford could drive across the country, only to find out that she was lying about driving across the country. If they were acting in good faith, they could have asked for an investigation prior to the confirmation hearings.

              1. “If they were acting in good faith, they could have asked for an investigation prior to the confirmation hearings”

                Yes, and if the Republicans were acting in good faith, they could request an FBI investigation, even if that meant the vote on Kavanaugh would be delayed until after the midterms.

      2. Laying on top of a woman, covering her mouth, and attempting to remove her clothing is “simply groping”? Are you saying that is what the police investigator said? I understand that you may not believe the accuser, but to now say the facts (if true) only amounted, worse case, to simply groping?

        1. “Laying on top of a woman, covering her mouth, and attempting to remove her clothing is “simply groping”? Are you saying that is what the police investigator said? I understand that you may not believe the accuser, but to now say the facts (if true) only amounted, worse case, to simply groping?”

          Police officers investigate a lot of crimes, lot of complaints, they sort through what is likely to have happened between conflicting versions of the events.

          Three things lead one to the logical conclusion that there was no attempted rape
          1) mark judge jumping on the pile – very consistent with general horse play.
          2) a second person in the room during attempted rape – really – you now have a witness to testify against you
          3) three other people in the house during the alleged rape. you now have three people additional witnesses to the rape or attempted rape.

          Just guessing – but most people arent going to try to rape some one if there are going to be 4 witnesses and 3 of which are guys that can beat the shit out of you if they caught you raping someone.

          1. Police officers investigate a lot of crimes. Over time, the learn to identify certain elements that are characteristic of genuine crimes (“blue flags”); they also learn to identify certain elements that are characteristic of hoax crimes (“red flags”). When they see a lot of red flags, they proceed with caution.

            1. I agree – in this case there are too many red flags that dont really support an attempted rape allegation. Very few blue flags.

            2. That or, as in the case of this investigator, they do not take sexual assault seriously.

              1. That is get has experience woth false reports or understands the evidentiary process.

      3. This attitude probably serves as one answer as to why she might not have come forward at the time.

    2. Excellent post. This is really the nub of the issue — the core problem here is that the charge here is one that is so vague it cannot be refuted. That might or might not be a result of waiting 35 years, but that is the reason that statutes of limitation are on the books. As it now stands, this is nothing but character assassination.

      1. Character assassination might be enough, especially if Ford’s claims have sufficient verisimilitude. I gather that it is not a legal issue, so it’s really just part of a strategy to delay any Supreme Court appointment until after the election, or to persuade a couple of Republican Senators to vote against him. Why not? McConnell trotted out the lame duck president argument to avoid voting on Garland, so Democrats apparently feel justified in playing hardball, or as hard as their balls can be. It’s an interesting exchange of tactics.

        1. “McConnell trotted out the lame duck president argument to avoid voting on Garland,”

          Sure, that’s exactly the same. Except that McConnell could prove that it was an election year.

          1. Did you enjoy Dr. Ford’s testimony today?

            Did you happen to watch it with any women?

            Carry on, clingers.

            1. Fuck off, slaver.

            2. In fact, I watched it with a woman who was put off by Ford’s tone.

              1. “In fact, I watched it with a woman who was put off by Ford’s tone.”

                I’m interested in “…put off by Ford’s tone”. Could you elaborate further? What “tone” did she have that would “put off” someone?

                P.S. I was a bit “thrown” by Ford’s references to her brain’s functioning, but giving Ford’s background it could probably be expected.

                1. I buy that. Tone is subjective enough you can put in whatever you want. I know liberals who think Sarah Palin has the worst voice known to man.

        2. You mean the fact that the last time the Presidency and the Senate were controlled by opposing parties and a Supreme Court vacancy opened in a Presidential election year and the Senate confirmed the President’s selection, Senators were still being chosen by state legislatures and not by popular vote?

    3. The other major problem was that she took great time to scrub all social media weeks before coming forward. Why would a credible person do this?

  3. Was there really an attempted rape or was it simply horseplay (boorish at that) that became conflated into attempted rape with nearly getting inadvertantly killed?

    Would someone really be stupid enough to try to rape someone with a third person in the room and 3 other people in the house?

    Quite frankly – this comes across as a recovered memory with a little embellishment.

    1. Joe.
      1. We have absolutely no firm idea about the specifics in this particular case, for the reasons DB put in his original post.
      2. Yes, we DO know that people are stupid enough to try and rape someone with another person in the room. Percentage-wise, it is very rare. But in raw numbers, it is A LOT of people. I say this, based on the hundreds of trials I did that involved sex crimes of one sort or another. Most people want to have sex in private (for privacy reasons) even when the sex is 100% consensual. But some do not. Some people sexually assault another with others around–to help, or to watch, or merely because the perp is confident that the observers will not interfere. Talk to any police department in any major city in the US and they will happily confirm this (well, probably unhappily confirm this, I guess). When I went to college in the 80s, there were several cases where frats lost their charter due to incidents of plying women with punch laced with alcohol and then making the women pull the train, or doing this after giving the women drugs. And those were only the reported cases…common sense tells us that other women suffered this but were too ashamed or scared to report it.

      That fact that these phenomena occurs does not suggest that Prof Ford’s accusations are correct. But it hopefully does fix your incorrect assumption that the presence of this 3rd person weakens her case.

      1. 2. Yes, we DO know that people are stupid enough to try and rape someone with another person in the room. Percentage-wise, it is very rare.

        Boorish teenage behavior groping/ horseplay – common (unfortunately too common)
        Attempted rape – rare
        Attempted rape with second person in the room very rare to extremely rare.
        Attempted rape with second person in the room jumping on pile like king of mountain – doesnt sound like attempted rape.
        Attempted rape with second person in the room and 3 other people in the house – extremely rare to very extremely rare

        Given the known facts in this case – which one would think most likely occurred ?

        The one with high probability or the one that is extremely rare?

        1. If K’s explanation had been, “Yeah, I vaguely remember this, but I did nothing wrong…only teenager horseplay.”, then yes, I would be in the camp of K’s supporters. 1, because the behavior–giving him the benefit of the doubt–was not horrible, and 2, because he has a 30-year history of not sexually assaulting women.

          But K took a different approach. His argument is an unequivocal denial. So, no one should allow him to say, “I totally did not do this. But if you believe that I *did* do this, then it was harmless behavior.”

          Joe, you do, I hope, agree with this, yes? This is absolutely not a case of “He says horseplay and she says sexual assault.” She says assault and he says “Nothing happened. Full stop.” So, all of the innocent hypos you suggest cannot apply (IMO). He is completely innocent–this is certainly possible. Or I am much more likely to believe her story. One of those two.

          …[continued]…

          1. …[continuing]…

            By the way; all of those situations you describe as ‘rare’ to extremely rare . . . I would accept those descriptions generally, but NOT where alcohol is involved, and DEFINITELY NOT where teen drinking is involved. I have seen many many many cases where people made behavioral choices that they never would have done while sober. Notably for me: My client’s daughter (I represented mom in that case) was molested by her ex, At A Wedding Reception, in public, with 50 witnesses within 30 yards. He pulled down her underwear and had his hand under her dress when two of the ushers saw this. He had been drinking…one presumes that, sober, he would have done that molesting in private and there would not have been a room full of witnesses.

            There now seems to be overwhelming evidence that Judge K drank to excess while in high school and college. And that drug abuse makes it infinitely more likely that he engaged in bad behavior while drunk. (And, giving him the benefit of the doubt; if this did, in fact happen, he may not be lying now…he might truly not remember this.)

          2. “But K took a different approach. His argument is an unequivocal denial.”

            Yes, exactly. So even if he was simply at a party and engaged in “horse play,” he is lying. Under oath. Rendering him completely unfit to be a judge, let alone a Supreme Court judge.

          3. Indeed, like every other person who was supposed to be there, he has no idea what Ford was talking about. This is absurd.

            1. Having some idea of what Ford is talking about might incline someone to resist a proper investigation.

      2. ” When I went to college in the 80s, there were several cases where frats lost their charter due to incidents of plying women with punch laced with alcohol and then making the women pull the train, or doing this after giving the women drugs.”

        I don’t know what colleges or universities these incidents occurred at, or if things went significantly downhill by the 1980s, but if anything close to this had happened in the Fraternity I was in in the early 1970s, there would have been a lot of my fraternity brothers kicking the s#it out of the perpetrators and moving them out of the house and right into the street. Sure, there was a lot of sexual horseplay that went on, and a lot of alcohol and drugs. But NEVER, and I mean NEVER, did I ever see anything approaching rape or even the type of sexual assault that Kavanaugh has been accused of.

        1. DJ,
          I’m glad you were in an honorable frat. I went undergrad to SDSU (San Diego State). And horrible things happened there. If the internet had been around in the 80’s, then we could Google, and find the (I suspect but have no actual evidence) that there were, collectively, dozens or hundreds of confirmed events like this nationwide.

          There also were horrific examples of false accusations, and that is a related–but different-issue. The Duke lacrosse case being a good example of this.

          I personally know of 2 situations where a woman from my door floor was plied with alcohol and was alone in a room with a group of frat members, only to be rescued by one of her female friends and pulled out of that room before all her clothes could be removed. After it happened to that same woman–twice!!–the RA got involved and managed to convince that woman to not attend frat parties…she clearly had drinking and personal judgement issues herself.

          1. “(I suspect but have no actual evidence)”

            Yup. One “hears” about a lot if things in college. Many of the things one hears aren’t true.

            “I personally know of 2 situations where a woman from my door floor was plied with alcohol…”

            How is it that women “get plied with alcohol”? Men drink. Don’t women have agency?

            “After it happened to that same woman–twice!!”

            Hey, maybe women do have agency!

            1. “Plied” in this case means: There are two bowls of punch, labeled alcoholic and non-alcoholic. Booze is deliberately put into both bowls. Unsuspecting women drink the punch, get drunk, and hilarity ensues.

              In the existential sense, the women did choose to drink. But not to drink alcohol, which was my main point. I also saw first-hand examples where a woman was given one drink, and after having this, was ‘encouraged’ to drink more than more. I do not want to infantilize women and suggest that they are delicate flowers incapable of making smart and stupid life choices. It is my preference that the stupid ones be made while not drugged–just as I hope the same about males.

              1. Someone was fooled by the spiked punch twice?

                1. Some people believe in fairy tales every day of their lives.

                  1. Yes you do, slaver.

    2. Yes, maybe Kavanaugh and Ford had an encounter, but she has embellished it so much that it is completely unfamiliar to him. Then we have to figure out what actually happened before the embellishment.

    3. If you accept her description, it’s attempted rape. If you do not, there is no other description to go by. So the suggestion is that attempted rape amounts to horseplay. The attitudes around here certainly suggest that for many the horseplay of some young men can include attempted rape.

    4. “Was there really an attempted rape or was it simply horseplay (boorish at that) that became conflated into attempted rape with nearly getting inadvertantly killed?”

      I don’t think it matters. Brett Kavanaugh testified under oath (when answering questions from Mitchell) that he never had *any* “sexual contact* with Christine Blasey Ford. That included lying on top of her. If he did *anything* Dr. Ford alleges he did, he lied under oath, and is completely unfit to be a Supreme Court judge.

  4. Only the judgment about her credibility by Susan Collins matters in any event

    1. I doubt Sen. Murkowski is in the bag. Maybe not even Sen. Flake.

    2. And later, the voters.

      1. If he is confirmed, who cares.

        Don’t be too sure of the effect in any event.

        1. If Judge Kavanaugh is confirmed, particularly without an investigation, I would wager heavily that the Republicans will not have a Supreme Court majority much longer than they have the power to prevent Democrats from dismantling that majority.

          I am content.

          1. There was an investigation, fuckwit liar.

  5. I have a vague recollection that you have taught criminal law, Prof. Bernstein.

    What did you think of Judge Kavanaugh’s voluntary participation in a televised interview in which he claimed to be a virginal choirboy focused on community service, church attendance, ‘being a good friend,’ and his studies as a high school student (in a world in which others recall a party-hardy ‘mean drunk’ and his self-prepared yearbook page depicts him as a 100-keg “Renate Alumnius” proud of his “Devil’s Triangle” experience)?

    1. *This* is why Senate Republicans refused to investigate, and why Judge K (and the White House) refused to ask for the FBI to reopen that investigation.

      At least we all agree–on both sides of this issue–that if the Senate (or Judge K) thought Mr Judge’s testimony would help, it would have called him to testify on Thursday. Weird that he won’t be there . . . given his representations so far; what he is saying sounds very helpful to Judge K…if it’s to be believed, of course.

      1. if the Senate (or Judge K) thought Mr Judge’s testimony would help, it would have called him to testify on Thursday.

        Help who? If it would help Ford they absolutely would not call him to testify.

      2. “refused to ask for the FBI to reopen that investigation.”

        What investigation? Maybe I missed it, but as far as I know there never was an investigation.

      3. “refused to ask for the FBI to reopen that investigation.”

        What investigation? Maybe I missed it, but as far as I know there never was an investigation.

  6. As for the Swetnick allegations, one good question is this: it’s one thing to say that victims of sexual abuse will be confused and ashamed and fail to report it for that reason. It’s another thing to say that a girl would observe other girls being raped and not only not report it but keep going back to such parties ten or more times. How is this explained?

    1. Bystander effect. People are really good at talking themselves out of doing the right thing.

      1. But why keep attending such parties? What woman attends parties where other women are being raped?

        1. Were you in a fraternity, swood1000? Or socially active and popular on a large college campus? It doesn’t sound like it.

          1. Were you in a fraternity, swood1000? Or socially active and popular on a large college campus?

            Are you saying that any such person would certainly have knowingly attended parties at which girls were being raped?

            1. Apparently Arthur is familiar with these kinds of parties. Or he is familiar with his imaginary version of these parties. I was in a fraternity a few years earlier. It was a party house. I quit because the partying was a distraction from studying. There was drunkenness. There was stupidity. There were some really dumb things done. My chapter was so bad it eventually lost its affiliation and was booted off campus. But, in the year I was there, I never saw any woman forced to have sex. I never saw any woman drugged or gotten intoxicated and then taken advantage of.

              1. Did you enjoy your time at Fantasyland University?

                1. Are you saying that you saw lots of women get raped at college, Arthur?

                  1. I was familiar with events in which women were fed alcohol (my time occurred before date-rape drugs became common) and taken advantage of. I was probably aware of more of it than most people, consequent to my positions in a couple of organizations, but I find it difficult to believe that even the most socially awkward, disconnected, oblivious students on substantial campuses in the 1970s were ignorant of this.

                    Carry on, clingers. With more vestigial misogyny, perhaps.

                    1. Why is it that women are fed alcohol and get taken advantage of, but men drink and have sex? The left doesn’t have much respect for women, it seems.

                    2. Keep talking. Some young women may not have heard people like you talking yet, and some older women might need a bit more to get their fill of conservative men.

                    3. Fuck off, lying slaver.

          2. “Or socially active and popular on a large college campus?”

            Uh, that don’t count as popular, Arthur.

            1. What doesn’t count as popular?

          3. I am familiar with them. I was in one, then spent 2 years working for one, then several years volunteering with one. No, women are not routinely raped at parties.

            It’s not to say that no bad decisions are made under the influence of alcohol. And it’s not to say that it has never happened. But no, rapes do not routinely happen at these places. If they did, the national organizations would come down hard on those groups.

            Frankly, fraternities are the one place where there are rules (though often broken) that restrain social events. I’d be much more concerned about my daughter attending some random house party.

        2. That sounds like a really good question to ask female high school and college students. I mean, if you’re really interested in an answer versus raising a question in order to dismiss the matter.

      2. As one commentator points out, there are only three possibilities, and only the first two are consistent with human nature:

        1) It’s not actually true that Kavanaugh and his friends were gang-raping women left and right. The story is completely fabricated.

        2) It’s true that there was a lot of sexual contact at these parties, and it’s true that the parties were known for that kind of thing, but the sexual contact was consensual and it happened between people who came to those kinds of parties for that kind of thing.

        3) Kavanaugh and his friends really were gang rapists, infamous for sexually brutalizing unsuspecting coeds, but girls kept coming to the parties hoping that they’d be spared.

        1. That about covers it, swood1000.

          Ford’s charge is the most credible, though it does strike me as something that (questions of K’s involvement aside) wasn’t an attempt to rape.

          The others are far too convenient and filled with problems.

          [though I think K will either have to withdraw or will be voted down by moderate Democrats and Republicans, for whom the cloud will offer cover for the votes they’ve actually wanted to cast all along]

          1. [though I think K will either have to withdraw or will be voted down by moderate Democrats and Republicans, for whom the cloud will offer cover for the votes they’ve actually wanted to cast all along]

            This is exactly what the Ds are hoping for. And if the Rs capitulate, it will only embolden the Ds to continue to behave like this and to escalate in the future. Show them that manufacturing 11th hour accusations to tar people is not acceptable conduct.

            1. Yes, once you assume all the accusations are manufactured, the Dems sure do seem bad.

              1. Ford’s lawyer represented Ms. Rape Party in a lawsuit once. I am sure its a coincidence.

              2. You don’t have to be persuaded that the accusations are manufactured. Given their imperviousness to verification, you only need be agnostic as to their truth or falsity. What I think you are reasonable in concluding is that the Dems are completely uninterested in truth or falsity, but in derailing the nomination. For that, anything that works is good enough for them. And so VinniUSMC is correct?if they get away with this, it will become SOP. As is, I fear that unprovable accusation has already been locked in as the new normal for confirmations.

              3. You don’t need to assume that the accusations are manufactured to make the Dems look bad. The Dems don’t need any help whatsoever in looking bad under these circumstances. Even if you assume that Christine Ford is honestly reporting her memories, once you take account of: (1) the fact that the allegation is 36 years old; (2) the fact that there was no contemporaneous reporting of the incident to anyone, and in fact no report for 30 years; (3) the fact that every other alleged witness of the supposed event, Mike Judge, P.J. Smyth, even Leland Keyser, supposedly Ford’s closest friend in High School, either deny that the event ever occurred or deny having any recollection of such an event; and (4) the mountain of scientific evidence that human memory, even of a traumatic event, is very fallible, and that the longer one holds onto a memory, mulls it over in one’s mind, the more likely that the memory does not accurately reflect what happened; details are lost or changed, events get embellished, perceptions are altered. Given all this, especially item (4) and the 36-year gap between the event, it is very easy to conclude that, even if Christine Ford is honest and credible in reporting her memory, there is still an unacceptably high probability that such memory does not remotely reflect what actually happened. And in light of this, the Dems insistance that we must believe whatever Christine Ford says makes them look bad.

                1. ‘The Democrats really look bad today,’ said no Republican watching Ford and Kavanaugh from Congressional offices today.

                  ‘We look great,’ said no white Republican males on the Judiciary Committee today.

                  1. Fuck off, idiot lying slaver.

                2. “(3) the fact that every other alleged witness of the supposed event, Mike Judge, P.J. Smyth, even Leland Keyser, supposedly Ford’s closest friend in High School, either deny that the event ever occurred or deny having any recollection of such an event;”

                  There are no alleged “witnesses” to the event of the alleged attempted rape. Mike Judge is not a “witness”…he’s alleged to have been involved in the alleged attempted rape himself.

                  And according to Ford, Smyth and Keyser did not witness the alleged attempted rape. They were simply at the party/get-together.

          2. “Ford’s charge is the most credible, though it does strike me as something that (questions of K’s involvement aside) wasn’t an attempt to rape.”

            It doesn’t matter whether it was an attempt to rape. Kavanaugh said (under questioning from Mitchell) that he never had any sexual contact with Ford, including being on top of her and having his hand on her mouth. If he had any sexual contact with her at all (including even contact he considered to be entirely consensual) he was lying in his sworn testimony yesterday.

    2. It’s explained by the fact that Ford’s activist attorney represented Swetnick in a sexual harrassment case 10 years ago, so when they were trolling for more “victims” who could possibly have encountered Kavanaugh in the 80’s she was on the rolodex. What are the odds that someone the attorney already knew would have additional allegations to relate?

  7. The title is: “Why it Will be Difficult to Assess Ford’s Credibility”

    So, I am expecting the writer to explain why Ford’s trustworthiness is a problem. That is, can one trust what Ford says to be an accurate reflection of what is factual true?

    The post opens with: “Ford acknowledges she didn’t tell anyone in any detail about Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assault and attempted rape until thirty-two years after the incident.”

    Wait what?! The title tells me that Ford’s trustworthiness is the issue in question and then the post begins by taking what she said as being factual correct. Why isn’t Ford’s acknowledgment regarding whether she told anyone about the alleged attack being doubted? It is her very credibility, or trustworthiness, that the post is challenging. More simply stated, the post uses as a factual starting premise statements made by the very same individual that the post is arguing is of questionable credibility. The premise takes the individual as credible; it assumes the credibility of the one whose credibility is being challenged!

    The next sentence is: “Under the best of circumstances, a thirty-two year time gap before an allegation surfaces would raise questions about the accuracy and completeness of complainant’s memory.”

  8. Wait, what….again!? So a 32yr time gap between an event occurring and one’s recollection of that event is of questionable accuracy. That seems pretty intuitive. But, it raises a problem with what was taken as true in the first sentence. The writer does not express any doubt about the accuracy of Ford’s memory when she said she did not tell anyone about the incident in any detail. Encompassed in that claim is, quite literally, every instance of Ford’s life from the moment after the attack to 32 years later when she made the accusation. Her memory of an event from 32 years ago is doubted, but her recollection of every event between that moment and 32 years later is accepted as true. If she told someone about the incident the next day, which would still be 32 years ago, then by the second claim her memory that she never discussed it would not be reliable, and one should not today accept her relying on memory when saying she never told anyone.

    Her memory that she did not tell anyone over the past 32 years is taken as true (which covers every interaction she must have ever had during that time), and then her memory of recalling an event 32 years ago is doubted. Her credibility is taken as true, and then her credibility is doubted.

    ….

  9. Wait, what….again!? So a 32yr time gap between an event occurring and one’s recollection of that event is of questionable accuracy. That seems pretty intuitive. But, it raises a problem with what was taken as true in the first sentence. The writer does not express any doubt about the accuracy of Ford’s memory when she said she did not tell anyone about the incident in any detail. Encompassed in that claim is, quite literally, every instance of Ford’s life from the moment after the attack to 32 years later when she made the accusation. Her memory of an event from 32 years ago is doubted, but her recollection of every event between that moment and 32 years later is accepted as true. If she told someone about the incident the next day, which would still be 32 years ago, then by the second claim her memory that she never discussed it would not be reliable, and one should not today accept her relying on memory when saying she never told anyone.

    Her memory that she did not tell anyone over the past 32 years is taken as true (which covers every interaction she must have ever had during that time), and then her memory of recalling an event 32 years ago is doubted. Her credibility is taken as true, and then her credibility is doubted.

    ….

    1. “So a 32yr time gap between an event occurring and one’s recollection of that event is of questionable accuracy”

      Not exactly. Prof. Ford has said that she has been haunted by the memory of the incident ever since it happened. What changed through therapy was that she linked that trauma with other emotional problems she was experiencing — which is not the same as suddenly recollecting an event — and this placed a different interpretation on those events.

      You will certainly remember the opening scenes of Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, especially “Dante gave him a cachou every time he brought her a piece of tissue paper”, as though the paper caused the sneeze. Our understanding of acts changes over time — but that’s not an issue of recollecting, but of interpreting.

      1. Joyce is a trauma I endured in high school that I have to live with for the rest of my life. Where is my compensation for that?

  10. . What is more intriguing in this post is what it says about the author, who I would imagine did not (and likely still does not) see any problems in these contradictory claims. By my analysis the author does not in fact doubt the totality of Ford’s credibility or her memory. Rather, he doubts some claims she makes and doubts her memory in some circumstances. The interesting question then is what this says about the author, rather than Ford. Which claims of Ford’s does the author passively accept as true, and which claims does he doubt? Also, in what context does the author accept Ford’s memory as being accurate, and in what context does he doubt the accuracy of her memory? Lastly, is there a pattern that then emerges that might explain why the author accepts some claims and memories as credible and accurate and others as not?

    ..

    1. QBC,

      It is probable at this point that Ford believes what she is saying. Whether what she is saying conforms to what happened at the alleged party or any party is what is in question. That is the big issue with respect to credibility versus honesty.

      It is quite possible that both Kavanugh and Ford are honestly speaking what they believe to conform with actual events.

  11. Predictions:
    All future court nominees by Republicans will face a baseless accusation of sexual misconduct.
    Current Democratic politicians, under investigation for credible (facts are available) accusations will be ignored by the media.
    Billy Jeff will never be indicted or investigated for the proven sexual misconduct in the White Hose.
    Hillary Clinton will never be investigated for abuse of sexual assault survivors.
    The sun will rise n the east tomorrow.

    1. Heck, there’s even a California Assemblywoman credibly accused of groping. She’s still serving.

      1. Yes, but Kavanaugh’s behavior stands for and represents hundreds of years of the patriarchy oppressing women. And others.

        He’s a symbol of what has gone wrong with the treatment of women. As such, what he did – or is alleged to have done – is more serious and more representative of misogyny then what others may have done. It’s both the acts he may have done and what actually has been done. The two are connected. Yes, collective guilt.

        This isn’t just a partisan battle between the parties. It’s the culture war, the battle over American history, what type of country this is, and where it needs to go. It’s a cold civil war that one hopes doesn’t get hot.

        That’s a bit over the top but I don’t think too much so.

    2. Long,
      Good idea to predict this will happen only to future nominees. Otherwise you’d be forced to admit that the Dems–who were apoplectic after Mitch McC single-handedly screwed over Garland and who were motivated to block any Trump nominee–did NOT, in fact, level ANY allegation against Gorsuch. Why? A good-faith person who say, “Because there were no allegations against G.” A bad-faith person would sputter and come up with some ex post facto explanation.

      Yes, you are correct that there is no interest (outside of your wingnut fringe area) about investigating very real allegations from a president (Bill Clinton) who is a full generation out of office. Similarly, there will be no new investigations into Reagan’s dealings with terrorists or into his henchmen’s perjury. Why? Because those are EVEN OLDER.

      Everyone but you–rightly or wrongly–moves on. On the other hand, If you want to investigate mean things Hillary said about women who were accusing her husband…knock yourself out. I’d support that, if you wanted to spend the time and money investigating someone who will never again be in political office. Really. I’d sincerely support that.

      1. Bill Clinton’s rapes were less than 32 years ago, and so were Keith Ellison’s, mendacious twat waffle.

    3. If baseless but apparently-credible sexual allegations could be manufactured on demand to defeat political opponents Republicans would be shovelling them out by the barrel-load. Conclusion – the reality of manufacturing such allegations is so tricky and high-risk nobody outside of 4chan would even think about it as a viable strategy, except for the purposes of disparaging accusations against someone you support.

      1. It’s not high risk if you render the claims unfalsifiable by failing to state when the event happened (even the year) and where they happened. Those are two convenient bits of information to forget. Couple that with also conveniently “forgetting” who took you home that night, which would provide the best corroborative witness, and you have a claim that is neither tricky nor high risk.

  12. Also motivating Kavanaugh’s enemies at this point is the advice of Machiavalli about the consequences to them and their policies if their efforts are unsuccessful and Kavanaugh is actually confirmed:

    “Upon this, one has to remark that men ought either to be well treated or crushed, because they can avenge themselves of lighter injuries, of more serious ones they cannot; therefore the injury that is to be done to a man ought to be of such a kind that one does not stand in fear of revenge.”

  13. We already know that Kavanaugh will lie to the Senate to get appointed to a position (he’s done it for prior positions and had already lied this time around), and we know he’s already lying about his school days to try and discredit Ford.

    So worst case scenario, Ford is as uncredible as Kavanaugh.

    So I suppose the real question is this: if Kavanaugh is known to be this dishonest, and the Senate cannot trust him, why should it appoint him *regardless* of Ford’s testimony?

    1. You’re assuming facts not in evidence.

    2. We ALSO already know that EscherEnigma is suffering from delusions induced by Trump Derangement Syndrome, and that a lot of what EscherEnigma claims that “We already know” is true only in EscherEnigma’s partisan-fevered mind.

      1. It’s also true in sarcastro and the Rev’s minds. That should tell you everything you need to know.

        1. First, ‘these guys I don’t like think this thing so you should think the opposite’ is some dumb tribalism, and I’ve seen you be better than that.

          Second, you aren’t even right about what I think. As has been quite clear from my comments, Ford’s allegations aren’t true in my mind. Neither are the other womens’. I have no idea what occurred, I just want some sort of investigation.
          I’ll even concede the investigation can happen after the confirmation, though I’d prefer it go in the proper order.
          A hearing is needed to legitimize the process as best as can be done, but I also know it’s theater – that the sort of personal evaluations that arise from a hearing will not be probative of anything other than preexisting biases.

          1. Take it up with Diane Feinstein who sat on Ford’s complaint for nearly two months while the FBI investigation was ongoing.

  14. There are 100s of people who are qualified to serve on the Supreme Court. Most of which do not have accusations against them (see Merrick Garland). Its sad and pathetic watching old white men protect the damaged goods that is this nominee. Act like adults, dump him, and move on.

    1. Its sad and pathetic watching old white men protect the damaged goods that is this nominee.

      Is that the same as saying that any nominee against whom sexual allegations are made should be withdrawn?

      1. If the accusations are credible they should at the very least be properly investigated to ensure you’re not putting a predator and a perjurer on the stand.

        A few house of he said/she said hardly qualifies.

    2. How do you know that accusations against Garland wouldn’t have been made if he had had confirmation hearings? Only one of Kavanaugh’s accusers came forward before the hearings and a Democrat sat on that until after the hearings in order to cause as much delay as possible. Garland never got that far. It may have even have come out that he smoked pot at some time in his life (against FEDERAL law – not just state law) and, possibly, as an adult (and the “I didn’t inhale” line has already been used – it’s a one use line that no one believed when it was first used, let alone now).

      Why do you assume Republican’s wouldn’t have done the same w/Garland if it looked like he would get enough Republican votes to be confirmed?

      1. Even Bush has some rape accusers knocking around somewhere. Safe to say you can dig someone up for anybody.

      2. When Ford came forward, one of the most compelling counter-arguments (for me), was, “Hey, she is making this allegation. It’s really rare that someone abuses a woman in this way and does it only once.”

        It does happen. But pretty often, it turns out to be repeat behavior. “Why are there no other accusers.” I heard over-and-over.

        But now we have heard from others. Like, after Bill Cosby, women came out of the shadows. And the same with Harvey Weinstein. Etc etc etc.

        If this were a Democratic nominee, would all the posters here (and Senate Republicans) really be defending him? (And, of course, would all the Dems be shouting for a full investigation?)

        1. “But now we have heard from others.”

          Does the credibility of the accusers matter at all?

          Both of the later accusations were fabricated.

          “If this were a Democratic nominee, would all the posters here (and Senate Republicans) really be defending him? (And, of course, would all the Dems be shouting for a full investigation?)”

          No

        2. Yeah, it’s utterly miraculous that when people weren’t believing the first accuser, new accusers were brought out. That doesn’t mean anything unless the new accusers are more credible than the first one. If anything, they’re less believable. If your only test is the number of accusers and not anything about the truth of their allegations, then you’re just going to have five people trotted out every time instead of one. That doesn’t speak to anything but your ability to find people to lie.

        3. Most of the follow-up accusers against Cosby and Weinstein were more credible.

          Not so with Ramirez.

          Specially not so with Avenatti’s sockpuppet Swetnick.

          1. I’m also skeptical, but if Remirez is indeed willing to go under oath, put her to the test.

    3. “There are 100s of people who are qualified to serve on the Supreme Court.”

      But only a very few of them have a lengthy record of respect for the rule of law and an abiding fidelity to the Constitution, and Democrats hate and fear every one of those blessed few. Only idiots would dump Kavanaugh and let the Democrats be comfortable in the knowledge that they can dictate the terms of policy even after they have lost an election.

      1. You think the Dems dictated policy in the nomination of (now-)Justice Gorsuch???? That’s a pretty weird belief you have.

        1. Are you really that unaware of the difference in context between Gorsuch and Kavanaugh? Gorsuch replaced Scalia, which even Dems, after getting over a one in a lifetime chance, recognized as an even trade. Kavanaugh is a trade for Kennedy, which Dems consider giving up a chancy thing for a sure thing against.

          It should be an easy distinction to see. Even if you only read or listen to a few Dem-friendly media.

          1. Why would the always bad faith and rapacious dems give one wit about an even trade?

            Get your narratives straight!

            1. Let them go, Sarcastro. This is how they have decided to handle losing the culture war.

      2. “Only idiots would dump Kavanaugh and let the Democrats be comfortable in the knowledge that they can dictate the terms of policy even after they have lost an election.”

        And what is the intellectual capability of people who push through to confirm a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court of someone who later turns out to have clearly attempted to rape a girl when he was in high school? And lied about it repeatedly under oath?

        *If* Brett Kavanaugh did what Christine Blaise Ford accused him of doing, he has now lied about it repeatedly under oath, the Republicans will be entirely responsible for putting an attempted rapist and perjurer onto the Supreme Court. Have you considered the optics on *that*?

        1. “…someone who later turns out to have clearly attempted to rape a girl when he was in high school?”

          There’s no way this could ever be clearly established thanks to Ford’s convenient gaps in memory that render her claims not only not provable, but also not falsifiable.

          1. “There’s no way this could ever be clearly established thanks to Ford’s convenient gaps in memory that render her claims not only not provable, but also not falsifiable.”

            If it can be shown that Tim Gaudette’s house in July 1982 matches the description Ford gave (narrow stairway to second floor, with bathroom at the top of the stairs on one side, and bedroom on the other) that will be pretty strong evidence, when combined with Kavaugh’s calendar statement that he went for “skis” at “Timmy’s house” that Ford is probably telling the truth, and that Kavanaugh is probably lying.

    4. regexp: “Act like adults, dump him, and move on.”

      Politically, it’s better for the GOP to have him voted down and therefore have an issue in the weeks leading up to the elections.

      In my state, Indiana, I can write the ad: “Joe Donnelly says he’s for Hoosiers, but he joined Chuck Schumer in the Democrats’ scheme to slime an honorable man for political purposes. Sleepy Joe Donnelly. Not one of us.”

      1. The “sleepy” is from Mike Braun’s ads that argue that Donnelly hasn’t contributed in the Senate.

    5. “Most of which do not have accusations against them…”

      Not yet, anyway.

      1. It’s not a good sign when you’ve already moved on from the specific issues to hypothetical future ones.

  15. The Senate does not appear inclined to subpoena the relevant records, assumedly for the obvious reason that this would be seen as an invasion of her privacy, perhaps an attack on her mental stability, and so on.

    This is a, shall we say charitable explanation.

  16. “Its not a trial its a job interview!”

    Yep, a job interview where you have a limited amount of time and your rival wants a criminal investigation and has hundreds of billions to trillions of dollars of resources and a sizeable chunk of the population willing to do anything to sabotage you and seat a less qualified candidate.

    1. seat a less qualified candidate

      Judge Kavanaugh is a qualified candidate, but he has been nominated as a reward for decades of service as a severely partisan Republican Party streetfighter (Clinton investigation, Brooks Brothers riot, torture-and-detention tour) and because he is a predictable conservative voter, not because of a stellar record of scholarship or judicial insight.

    2. There is not a limited amount of time. Scalia’s seat sat open for over 400days.

  17. When did she first tell a therapist about the attack? Was she correct that she did not tell anyone about it until 2012? Not even during the course of therapy? What mental health issues does she blame the attack for? What mental health issues, if any, preceded the attack? When did she first seek therapy?

    Lots of questions.

    1. All perfectly legitimate questions. If conservatives were saying that they wanted an investigation, but that any investigation should include your question; I doubt you’d find any credible liberals/democrats opposing you.

  18. Have you been off the planet.

    Ford acknowledges she didn’t tell anyone in any detail about Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assault and attempted rape until thirty-two years after the incident.

    Same as Patti Davis, Ronald Reagan’s daughter … and so many other women coming out.

    Under the best of circumstances, a thirty-two year time gap before an allegation surfaces would raise questions about the accuracy and completeness of complainant’s memory

    Under the best of circumstances, you are reviving the label “male chauvinist pig.”

  19. It will be difficult to assess Ford’s credibility because a great deal of evidence which might support a conclusion that she is credible is being ruled out of bounds by people who don’t want her credibility accurately assessed. Judge should be a witness. The several other people Ford told her story to prior to the confirmation battle should be witnesses. The other women who have come forward to charge Kavanaugh should be witnesses. The people who previously heard their stories?in some instances from yet other people?should be witnesses.

    And that’s all before you get to the question of Kavanaugh’s credibility, and the mountains of evidence bearing on that which have been systematically excluded.

    If it isn’t stopped, this stinking process is going to stink up the American judicial system for decades to come. Republicans ought to vote no on Kavanaugh, but demand a thorough investigation and hearing to see if he can be exonerated of the charges against him?a hearing in which every bit of the evidence Democrats want to see is produced. After that, hold another vote on Kavanaugh’s nomination, and let that dispose of the matter.

    1. “The people who previously heard their stories?in some instances from yet other people?should be witnesses.”

      Witnesses to what. Pure hearsay. Simply having generated more people to parrot the same hearsay story does nothing to increase the verisimilitude of the accusation.

      1. Gasman, “Pure hearsay,” as you call it, in this instance is substantive. One charge against Ford?one which has figured particularly prominently?is that she is making it up decades after the fact, motivated by a desire to derail Kavanaugh. If the “hearsay,” as you call it, dates to a time before Kavanaugh was proposed for the Court, then it is objective proof that discounts to zero that particular impeachment of Ford.

        I think you probably already knew that. It is tiresome to again and again refute for the benefit of bystanders inanities called forth by repeated gusts of partisan emotion. If I misjudge you, then prove it by joining in a call for a forthright investigation to remove the cloud from this miscarried process, and from the long train of political evils it portends.

        1. Kav was in the news in 2012 as a likely S/C nominee if Romney won.

          “forthright investigation”

          The Judiciary Committee is investigating on behalf of the Senate. The Senate advises and consents to nominations. Thee is no other entity entrusted by the Constitution to investigate.

          1. “The Judiciary Committee is investigating on behalf of the Senate. The Senate advises and consents to nominations. Thee is no other entity entrusted by the Constitution to investigate.”

            And why can’t the Judiciary Committee ask for FBI help?

    2. Those several other people have submitted statements to the committee under penalty of perjury. So much for you narrative. And what exactly would the witnesses she told of the incident add? Precisely what is the value of them repeating that she told them this happened years after it supposedly did?

      You’re right that if this process isn’t stopped it’s going to stink up the judicial system for decades to come, and Kavanaugh withdrawing or voted down on ZERO evidence is exactly the cause of such a stench.

      Have an investigation (7th) if you want, and Kavanaugh can be removed at any point in the future and let that dispose of the matter.

      1. Exactly, except that Kavanaugh voted in over unrefuted evidence will produce the same effect. Just being partisan doesn’t mean you get to determine that sworn charges are no evidence. It stinks either way, and the source of the stench is an irrational partisan determination to avoid forthright process to get to the facts.

        Your argument to raise the bar for Kavanaugh’s opponents to the super-majority level implied by impeachment is noted. As is the partisan motivation behind it.

        What would it take to get you guys to be forthright?

    3. Ramirez and Swetnick? Uh, including them would actually make Ford less credible by association. Especially Swetnick.

      1. I tend to agree with that. But also note on the basis of experience as a journalistic investigator that from time to time big-time true stories are initially sourced to horribly motivated, untrustworthy-looking people. Avenatti looks to me like a human warning flag, but I noted with interest a while ago that he predicted a major firing in the White House that nobody else saw coming, and it happened.

  20. All you say is true, but that is why their should be an FBI investigation and not a Senate vote.

    1. Why would you trust a seventh FBI investigation if you don’t trust the first six?

      1. Because they have. different set of things to investigate, you gullible idiot.

        1. Without the conveniently forgotten when and where of the event, there is nothing for them to investigate.

          1. Untrue, as can be seen by the calendar July 1 entry. It ain’t easy, but it ain’t impossible. Certainly worth a look.

  21. Liberals oppose Kavanagh not because of these nonsensical sexual assault allegations, but because he doesn’t think “due process of laws” means “kill a baby” or “ejaculate into another man, even if HIV infected.”

    1. Liberals oppose Kavanagh for a wide variety of reasons, some more justified than others. Many of them are firmly of the “meh” opinion, and some probably even support his candidacy if not his confirmation.

  22. The partisans have enough information to make up their minds, because they require zero information to make up their minds.
    The very small minority that tries to avoid reaching conclusions without information will be ignored in this instance. This will surprise nobody.

  23. What about Kavanaugh’s credibiity?

    1. He has been credibly accused of lying to Congress about a number of matters. These could possibly be cleared up by the release of documents and emails. But that’s not happening. Kavanaugh has a much bigger credibility problem than Ford, and none of the people calling Ford’s credibility into question are asking for further information about Kavanaugh’s activities. Apparently they are happy to believe whatever he says, so maybe they shouldn’t be so quick to question Ford’s statements.

    2. He was a bad drunk. Guess what? Bad drunks often don’t remember what happened when they were drunk. Why should anyone believe his denials? again, he has a serious credibility problem, which is to say, he is very likely a liar.

    1. “accused of lying to Congress ”

      By his opponents. “credibly accused” is the new “I have in my hand list of 100 Communists…”

      “credibly” You keep using the word but do not know what it means.

      1. By his opponents.

        I don’t expect Trump or Grassley to level accusations.

        He was accused by people who are familiar with the situations. Have you read any of the articles making accusations, or are you just a blind follower?

        Of course, Kavanaugh could easily provide evidence to refute these charges. But he hasn’t, and won’t.

  24. did she use hypnosis to either help Ford recover the memories, to render them less traumatic, or otherwise?

    Where did you get the idea that was a recovered memory? Much less that hypnosis was involved??

    Ford didn’t “recover” the memories during therapy, she just connected them to her symptoms of trauma.

    A more limited argument is logically sound: “I was sexually assaulted over thirty years ago, and I never told anyone. Therefore, the fact that someone didn’t tell anyone for thirty years about a sexual assault doesn’t mean that she is lying or imaging it.

    Here’s the problem with your more limited argument. What possible motive would Ford have to falsely accuse Kavanaugh of rape in 2012 to 4 people, and then do nothing else with the information?

    The Senate does not appear inclined to subpoena the relevant records, assumedly for the obvious reason that this would be seen as an invasion of her privacy, perhaps an attack on her mental stability, and so on.
    […]

    I don’t know how anyone could begin to accurately assess the credibility of her allegations.

    It’s pretty easy, ask the FBI to re-open the background check and investigate.

    Does Judge still claim no memory when questioned by law enforcement?

    Did former classmates heard rumours at the time? Do they have a hunch as to the house or year? Did they have similar experiences with Kavanaugh that they didn’t want to go to the media with?

    I suspect the GOP believes her and is just playing dumb.

    1. Here’s the problem with your more limited argument. What possible motive would Ford have to falsely accuse Kavanaugh of rape in 2012 to 4 people, and then do nothing else with the information?
      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      Wow, thats a pretty big tidbit not to have been splashed all over the headlines. Must be that legendary caution and restraint CNN/HuffPo/Buzzfeed are known for. Can you link me to your proof that Ford specifically wailed about Kavanaugh in 2012?

      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
      It’s pretty easy, ask the FBI to re-open the background check and investigate.
      >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

      And do what? Whatever witnesses were available were talked to. Should we reask everybody whether Brett raped Ford until they get the answers you want?

      1. Whatever witnesses were available were talked to.

        Whereas, whatever witnesses are available now, like Judge (and now, many others), have not been talked to.

        Seems like you want to keep it that way. I suggest that is because aluchko is correct?you believe her, and like so many others, you are just playing dumb. To be uniquely stupid is an embarrassment, but to be stupid in plentiful company is somehow reassuring? That seems unwise.

  25. That isn’t necessarily fatal to her credibility, though it is obviously difficult for Kavanaugh to rebut an allegation that contains no verifiable details.

    The presence or absence of Judge is a verifiable detail. As is his appearance of credibility in denying it, if that is what he does. His description of Kavanaugh’s drunkenness, and his own, are verifiable details. With skilled investigation, the date and address of the alleged incident are at least potentially verifiable details, if it happened, but not if it didn’t. Lots of verifiable details. What’s lacking is forthright appetite to verify them.

    1. Why wouldn’t the Democrats lack appetite to verify the allegations of Ford, Ramirez, and now Swetnick?
      They have everything to gain by verifying them.

      1. They do have the appetite.

        It is Republicans who are blocking further investigation, additional witnesses, etc.

        Please try to keep up.

    2. So, if I have this straight: if there were an FBI investigation and the FBI reported back in a few weeks that there is no evidence they can find that is determinative, you and the rest of the Democrats would say, “OK, let’s confirm him.” Just like to be sure.

      1. So, if I have this straight: if there were an FBI investigation and the FBI reported back in a few weeks that there is no evidence they can find that is determinative, you and the rest of the Democrats would say, “OK, let’s confirm him.”

        I would have said that before today. Today he lost me completely.

        Kavanaugh’s performance convinced me he has no judicial temperament at all. This is a guy who has no capacity to rely on truth for emotional calm, so he was in a frenzy. That’s bad in a judge.

        And then he showed that he is wildly, uncontrollably partisan. The Clintons? We’re going to have a justice on SCOTUS with Clinton hamsters competing in his mental squirrel cage with the stuff that belongs there?

        Also, he apparently can’t make a distinction between “I didn’t see anything like that,” on the one hand, and “That didn’t happen,” on the other. Spotting the difference between an unsupported charge and a refuted charge is something I look for in a judge. You should too.

        1. “And then he showed that he is wildly, uncontrollably partisan. The Clintons? We’re going to have a justice on SCOTUS with Clinton hamsters competing in his mental squirrel cage with the stuff that belongs there?”

          Yes, I can’t believe that no one reviewed what he was going to say and told him, “Geez, don’t go there!”

    3. “With skilled investigation, the date and address of the alleged incident are at least potentially verifiable details, if it happened, but not if it didn’t. Lots of verifiable details. What’s lacking is forthright appetite to verify them.”

      Yes, in fact, July 1, 1982 at “Timmy’s” (Gaudette’s) house is a possibility. Brett Kavanaugh’s own calendar shows him there drinking (brew)”skis” with “Judge” and “PJ.”

  26. The number of conservatives taking refuge in counterfactuals or future predictions of Democratic persecutions is pretty telling about how the momentum looks to them right now.

    I look forwards to the ‘actually, this is gonna motivate the GOP in the midterms’ takes.

    1. Ads featuring Democratic smears of Bork, Thomas, and Kavanaugh write themselves.

      1. Good point! Republicans should fund advertisements featuring Dr. Ford’s testimony with the tag: “This is what a Democratic smear job looks like — just listen to this bitch!”

        Because yesterday was a totally awesome day for right-wingers who love owning the libs.

        Carry on, clingers.

  27. Why were the Holton Arms School yearbooks covering the years of Ms. Ford’s attendance ‘disappeared’ form their web site recently? There is someone who archived them when Ford first emerged. Very interesting.

    1. This may surprise you. It surprised me. I learned years ago, from a professional archivist, that that is standard practice for handling yearbooks during a controversy. The archivist is protecting the reputation of the institution, while also assuring that people associated with the institution won’t be jeopardized by information the institution makes available. It’s about what works best for the institution.

      Now if only the archival expert at Holton Arms could somehow erase the maps which show it situated on “Booze Creek.”

  28. Mitchell is really good. Very professional. Very calm concerning the setting. Her manner is putting Dr. Ford at ease. I know that I am a nervous wreck even in the most calm court hearings.

    1. “Mitchell is really good. Very professional.”

      Indeed! I thought she was great. She was even great questioning Kavanaugh. She had him read a page about sexual contact, and had him swear that he had never had any sexual contact with Ford according to the descriptions on the page. That’s extremely useful if latter evidence seems to contradict his testimony.

  29. Wow. She lied about being unable to fly to the hearing. Who would have guessed?

  30. I think the strategy is to ask Ford gentle questions and back into disclosures. One thing they are doing is establishing that Ford is a very, very sensitive person with a history of mental illness. She wanted to stop Kavanaugh anonymously. Mitchell is asking questions to show that the Dems procrastinated when handling Ford’s letter, and then after Feinstein announced the existence of the letter (leaving out Ford’s name) it was only a matter of time before someone leaked Ford’s name and the media descended.

    Three matters that interest me.
    (1) Before Ford contacted Feinstein, she was told by “beach friends” that she needed to do something about the Kavanaugh nomination. Sounds to me like she must have broadcast her complaints about Kavanaugh wide and far in her community in order for “beach friends” to insist that she needed to do something.
    (2) Back in 1982, who locked the bedroom door where the attack took place? How was the door locked?
    (3) When the attackers left the room, they turned down the music? They are falling down drunk, they just attacked her, and as they leave to go back downstairs they stop to turn down the music.

    1. “(3) When the attackers left the room, they turned down the music? They are falling down drunk, they just attacked her, and as they leave to go back downstairs they stop to turn down the music.”

      I don’t agree that they were “falling down drunk” per Ford’s account. Per Ford’s account, Kavanaugh held her down, covered her mouth when she screamed, and tried to get her clothes off (foiled mainly by a one-piece bathing suit underneath). There’s no way I would classify *that* as “falling down drunk”.

  31. I didn’t go to any of these parties, I don’t know what happened there, nor do I know anyone who knows.

    The Senate can say “this is a job application, we’re going to assume any charges against the applicant are true and let him disprove them, even if from three decades + ago.”

    OR the Senate could apply common sense and declare, “we need to have a balance, and saying that allegations of wrongdoing (short of murder or genocide) should be reported fairly promptly after the alleged offense, and then insisting on proof of the allegation” would make more sense than simply offering incentives to any political enemy to use old misconduct charges to derail a nomination they don’t like.

    Feinstein’s voters, for instance, seem to assume that her Jim Jones connections were either innocent, or so long ago as not to be worth worrying about – I’d be dubious about an attempt to revive the Jones allegations to get her defeated for office. Especially since any replacement for Feinstein would be (difficult as this is to imagine) nuttier than she is.

    If I were in a position to vote on Feinstein, I’d focus more on what she did recently than what she did in the 1970s with a murderous cult leader. I’d also take a look at her competition and remind myself how much worse the competition probably is. Is that immoral?

  32. She’s not credible. She says she’s afraid of flying, but flies to Hawaii, Coast Rica, South Pacific Islands and French Polynesia to surf. “Oh, it’s easier when it’s a vacation.” Ok. Keeps changing her story about how many people were there, and it’s extremely difficult to believe she can’t remember when, where, how she got home, etc.

    1. Amazing how it’s easier to handle a stressful experience when going on vacation than it is when testifying to the Senate about the time you were sexually assaulted.

      1. If she’s nervous over lying and misleading she should have just said so instead of conjuring up some implication of a generalized fear of flying.

      2. Apparently her training as a clinical psychologist does little to help her in overcoming her supposed fear of flying. Like so much else about her story, it’s just so very convenient.

      3. “Amazing how it’s easier to handle a stressful experience when going on vacation…”

        She said that her testimony had to be delayed so that she could drive to Washington, because Kavanaugh’s attack caused her to be afraid to fly. So at least that aspect of her claim was bullshit.

  33. An interesting article the reliability of human memory.

    https:// http://www.weeklystandard.com/ thomas-w-kirby/ brett-kavanaugh-supreme-court- what-memory-science-can-tell-us- about-christine-fords-allegations

    1. Interesting to note it only speculated on the possibility that Ford’s memory was flawed.

      But why not Kavanaugh’s?

      He may have blacked out, he may have forgotten, or he may remember the incident but convinced himself he was only horsing around since he didn’t want to think of himself as an attempted rapist.

      It’s possible that’s he’s guilty but thinks himself innocent.

      1. “He may have blacked out, he may have forgotten, or he may remember the incident but convinced himself he was only horsing around since he didn’t want to think of himself as an attempted rapist.”

        Even if he has convinced himself he was “only horsing around” he lied under oath…because he said nothing even remotely similar to what Dr. Ford alleged happened ever occurred.

        And if he blacked out, he also is lying (unless he doesn’t know he blacked out). He said under oath that he had never blacked out due to drinking.

      2. Kavanaugh AND 3 other people (Keyser, Smyth, and Judge) had to have blacked out too.

        1. “Kavanaugh AND 3 other people (Keyser, Smyth, and Judge) had to have blacked out too.”

          It’s certainly not out of the realm of possibility that Judge blacked out. He was by his own account a hopeless drunk during the period that the incident would have occurred…if it indeed occurred. And Smyth and Keyser could easily simply have forgotten. There’s no reason for either of them to remember a party/get-together they attended, potentially briefly, more than 35 years ago.

          1. It’s possible, though not necessarily most likely, that multiple people forgot for whatever reason about attending such a party, and we are supposed to rely on the selective memory of Ford, which once again is so very convenient for Ford’s tale.

            1. “It’s possible, though not necessarily most likely, that multiple people forgot for whatever reason about attending such a party, and we are supposed to rely on the selective memory of Ford, which once again is so very convenient for Ford’s tale.”

              No, we don’t have to “rely on Ford’s tale.” There is Brett Kavanaugh’s calendar entry that he went for (brew)”skis” at Tim Gaudette’s house on July 1, 1982 with “PJ” and “Judge.” That puts all three boys at the same house at the same time. Further, we have a description of the inside of the house where the alleged assault occurred.

              This is all very basic stuff. Anyone who really gives a damn about the truth should want to investigate to see whether Ford or Kavanaugh is telling the truth…under oath.

              1. You are using Kavanaugh’s calendar to fill in the gap in Ford’s selective memory to make it seem more credible than it is. All of the people identified by Ford have provided sworn statements already. If anyone, it is Ford who needs to be grilled to explain her inconsistencies, but that isn’t likely to happen, so there is no point.

                1. “You are using Kavanaugh’s calendar to fill in the gap in Ford’s selective memory to make it seem more credible than it is.”

                  That’s laughable. I’m following facts as any non-partisan person should do. (I’m not a Democrat or a Republican. I don’t give a damn whether Kavanaugh gets on the Court or not…other than if he has lied under oath.)

                  Ford said Kavanaugh and Judge attempted to rape her at a party where P.J. Smyth also attended. She also said that 6-8 weeks later, she saw Judge working at a Safeway. Judge was working at a Safeway 6-8 weeks after July 1, 1982.

                  Kavanaugh’s calendar says he was going for (brew)”skis” with people including “Judge” and “PJ” at “Timmy’s (Gaudette’s) house.” If Tim Gaudette’s house in July 1982 resembles the situation Ford described…a narrow stairway with a bathroom at one side at the top and a bedroom on the other side, anyone who isn’t a hopeless partisan hack could reasonably conclude that it’s much more likely that Ford is telling the truth than Kavanaugh. (Who already lied under oath about other things during his testimony.)

      3. It’s possible that’s he’s guilty but thinks himself innocent.

        SOP for the truly guilty, for the marginally guilty, for Catholics, and for agnostics everywhere. On the other hand, committed protestants tend to think themselves guilty, even when they are innocent. It’s confusing.

  34. July 1, 1982 seems like a possible date if Dr. Ford’s testimony is true.

    On July 1, 1982, according to Brett Kavanaugh’s calendar, he went for “(brew)skis” at “Timmy’s” house. (That’s Tim Gaudette.) Further, he went with “Judge,” “PJ”, and others.

    That date would fit with Christine Ford having seen Mark Judge “6 to 8 weeks later” at a “Safeway.”

  35. …And, just as any person who isn’t an idiot, or a hack could have predicted: the “hearings” were a popcorn fart of a travesty of a joke.

    1. Duh. Which is that 5-minute structure functioning as intended.
      There was more weird lying by Kavanaugh about how much hellraising he did as an undergrad, which was the only interesting bit I saw. (the exchange with Klobuchar was spicy, but meaningless).

      Nevertheless, I remain convinced we need that theater to maintain even a fig leaf of legitimacy the next time the Court makes a controversial decision. One can never be sure with counterfactuals, but I’ve seen nothing to change my belief that it would not have been better to just ram him through after these allegations.

      I still hope there’s an after-the-fact investigation.

      1. “I still hope there’s an after-the-fact investigation.”

        There almost certainly will be an “after-the-fact investigation”…but not necessarily by law enforcement.

        If Kavanaugh is confirmed, thousands of people will be only too happy to provide additional evidence that he’s an attempted rapist and a perjurer. And if he is or is not confirmed, thousands of people will be only too happy to provide additional evidence that Ford lied about Kavanaugh under oath.

      2. “…weird lying by Kavanaugh…”

        ???

        1. Dumb stuff. Some self-evident, like the definition of boofing and that note about that Renata Alumn. But also how much he drank, which has enough agendaless classmates coming out in sheer disbelief that I’m persuaded he’s lying about that as well.

          None of it needed. All of it not a half-truth or evasion, but an actual lie. Under oath. What the heck, Judge K?

          1. The “obvious lying” only seems obvious to people who oppose Kavanaugh. I grew up around the same time, and my recollection is that the term for sex is “boff” and it is transitive. I have now idea what “did you boof yet” would mean. And I’m not sure that a charactarization of how much he drank counts as lying, i.e. He drank some, he drank alot, etc. I’ve also seen some characterizations in the MSM of his testimony, that strike me as fake news, such as the claim that said that he was old enough to drink. That’s not how I interpreted his testimony.

            1. Boof means anal.

              There’s a bunch of sites doing deep dives into slang origins of the three phrases in question. Some partisan, some not. None are supporting Kav’s three super-innocent explanations.

              Kav says he never blacked out or lost control. That was enough for random nonpolitical Yale classmates to say
              ‘uh, no, that’s not true under any interpretation I can give those words.’

              I don’t know about all the assault stuff, only that there should be an investigation. But this seems pretty cut-and-dried.

              Also not liking the look of talking about Clinton revenge.

              1. There can be no “innocent” explanation of “Renata Alumnius”(sic!) except if nobody at the school, most definitely including Kavanaugh, knew the definition of “alumnus”.

                You can’t innocently “graduate from” a girl. The word itself in that context is clearly derogatory. If they’d actually meant it as a compliment, it would have been something like, “Member of Renata Fan Club.”

                Really, that alone should be enough to keep him off the Supreme Court. It’s a shameless lie. Under oath.

      3. “an after the fact investigation” OF WHAT???
        WHAT is there for anyone to investigate?

        1. Oh come on, we have rough dates, a number of people called out, two people’s somewhat substantive testimony on the issue at hand to go over. Lots of fodder for investigators.

          Plus, of course, the FBI investigates without particularized suspicion all the time. Do you have something against background checks?

        2. “WHAT is there for anyone to investigate?”

          Whether he lied under oath about sexually assaulting Dr. Ford of course! Dr. Ford said he sexually assaulted her. She provided the approximate time (such that “6-8 weeks later” Mark Judge was working at Safeway). She provide a description of the interior of the house where it occurred.

          Investigate whether Kavanaugh’s calendar note that he went for (brew)”skis” at Timmy’s (Gaudette’s) house with “Judge”, “PJ” and others might provide the date and location of the assault. Did Tim Gaudette’s house in July 1982 look like what Dr. Ford described?

          This is basic, basic stuff. Anybody who gave a damn about the truth would want to have a better idea whether Ford or Kavanaugh is telling the truth. They cannot both be telling the truth.

  36. To quote a poet I liked in drunken college years but long ago forgot his name:

    “And down in lovely muck I’ve lain
    Happy till I rose again
    The world it was the old world yet,
    I was I, my things were wet.”

    I would like to hear Mark Judge testify under oath. Maybe he could name some others that it would be useful to force to testify.

    On the question of having the “FBI” investigate the whole matter, I would ask, which FBI? The Deep State FBI that routinely pretends to investigate people important to the Democrat Party while entirely focusing their snooping and evidence-planting efforts on right wingers, or can we still find the old fashioned professional kind of rigidly unbiased, dutiful, and honorable FBI agent?

    I would sure like to know more about Ford’s Facebook history, which has vanished. People tend to reveal a lot about their political intensity in that forum, which could be an essential clue in her case. I would also like those therapist notes to come out, all of them, as well as all records and recordings from that “lie detector” session, and sworn testimony by those who administered it.

    Also the FBI must thoroughly investigate Ford’s troubled mental health past, to rule out the possibility that at somewhere along the line she was blaming some other factor for her obvious life long distress, to include, of course, all aspects of her mental stability BEFORE she attended the alleged party as a teen.

  37. I feel bad for this poor woman that the democrats are using and abusing.

    1. Yes, this is a good take. You should go with this one. This poor mentally ill therapist’s real assault came from the Dems.

  38. Professor Christine Blasey Ford is not just any person claiming to have a memory about an incident 36 years ago. She has a PhD in psychological research. I think it is incredible that during the years she earned degrees on her career path, she never used the resources of her colleagues and mentors at any of those university psychology departments to explore her memory of the event that she now claims had a significant impact on her emotional makeup. It is one thing for a woman with no access to psychological therapy to say she did not talk about her memory of an event with anyone else for 30 years, but Ford was literally immersed in the psychotherapeutic community her entire life, a credentialed expert. If she was experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, she had to be discussing it with her peers and mentors. But she said her “memory” was not shared with anyone until 30 years later, in a session with a marriage therapist. That makes no sense. What explains this best is that the “memory” did not exist as an idea in her mind until 2012. And the lack of grounding in reality is best explained as a product of her imagination in 2012, when she noticed Kavanaugh was mentioned as a possible Republican nominee for the Supreme Court if Romney won the election.

  39. A search on Google Maps Satellite View shows there are very few homes in Montgomery County with swimming pools. Ford was wearing a swim suit under her clothes, so a pool is a necessary part of her story. Ford could then look at each pooled house using Google Street View to see if it jogs her memory as the place where her memory is set. Once she has candidates, she could do a computer sesrch of county title records to determine who owned each house in 1982, and compare with the families of girls enrolled at her school. Living in Silicon Valley and working at a university, she could find students happy to help her. Then she could follow up to try to find witnesses who can find the dates when they hosted a teenage party. Could all be done in a couple of days.

    The fact that Ford did not engage in this obvious search strategy, in which her own memory is essential, tells me that she does not trust her memory, and is afraid that an actual date and place will be one that Kavanaugh can provide a verified alibi for.

  40. Many of Ford’s classmates deckared to a press conference that they believe Ford’s story. However, NONE of these supporters could step forward and say she was at a party with both Ford and Kavanaugh. Not specifically THE party, but ANY party that would confirm Ford potentially knew Kavanaugh in 1982. Here one friend named in her dream–er, “memory”–has declared under penalty of 18 USC 1001 that she never met Kavanaugh, and specifically not at any party she attended with Ford. Apparently, no other Ford classmate is able to step in and declare, under penalty of law, to the minimal statement that she ever saw Kavanaugh and Ford at the same event. Since none of her classmates knew Kavanaugh, what is the reason to believe that Hall herself knew him when he was a mere teenage boy?

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