Reason Roundup

Dramatic Accusations and Twists Accelerate Ahead of Kavanaugh and Ford Testimony Today: Reason Roundup

Plus: Is postmodernism bad?


Despite my most fervent wishes to stop blogging daily about Brett Kavanaugh's sexual past: Here we are again. The halls of power, the TV networks, and Twitter today are filled with new and increasingly bizarre allegations about Kavanaugh and his accusers, as the Supreme Court nominee and research psychologist Christine Blasey Ford prepare to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee beginning at 10 this morning.

Since we left off here bright and early yesterday—when the world was just meeting Julie Swetnick, the third woman to accuse a teenage Kavanaugh of sexual assault or impropriety—Kavanaugh has said he has no idea who she is and that he felt like he was in the Twilight Zone; President Trump tweeted shade at her lawyer, Michael Avenatti, and then went on to give a typically trainwreck-esque press conference about it; and the Senate released prepared written testimonies from Kavanaugh and from Ford.

Trump's press conference defense of Kavanaugh centered on the fact that he, too, had been accused of sexual assault by a lot of women. These allegations were false, he said. Therefore, Kavanaugh's accusers were probably looney, too (in so many words). You can read the whole thing for yourself here.

And that was just the beginning! As Wednesday evening wore on, the pace of new accusers, new dirt on accusers, allegations of false identities, volunteer suspects, and all hell loosening continued to accelerate. Ahem:


Libertarian postmodernism? Nick Gillespie defends it in a new video from Reason TV.


NEXT: Murphy Brown Revival Forgets Its Roots in Desperate Attempt to Join the Resistance

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  1. Despite my most fervent wishes to stop blogging daily about Brett Kavanaugh’s sexual past: here we are again.

    Oh, please. You know you love it!

    1. #MeToo #FistJokeSurvivor

    2. Hello.

      Dramatic accusations, eh? Like…


  2. The halls of power, the TV networks, and Twitter today are filled with new and increasingly bizarre allegations about Kavanaugh and his accusers…

    Dueling conspiracy theories! What spectacle!

    Get Walker on it.

    1. With Alex Jones out of the way the main stream media can make all the conspiracies they want now.

  3. The popcorn machine might spontaneously combust today.

    1. In other news: Popcorn prices skyrocket as shortage looms.

      1. Skyrocketing Popcorn Prices Prove Capitalism is a Failure

  4. Senate Democrats suggested these anonymous accusers were false flags from Republicans intended to discredit the real accusations.

    We all know that any of current accusations are discredited on their face.

    1. Dr. Ford passed a lie detector test and called for an FBI investigation, which is not the behavior of someone who’s just making things up.

      1. She didn’t “pass a lie detector test” you idiot. She took a polygraph administered from her attorney and answered a single question, “has anything you have said been untrue?”. That is not passing a lie detector test in any meaningful way. Passing a polygraph means answering multiple questions administered by a qualified polygraph examiner. That is not what she did.

        Stop lying.

        1. And even if she did pass a proper polygraph exam, it still wouldn’t mean a damn thing because polygraphs are worthless. The actual scientific studies done on polygraphs show that the examiners are no better at “detecting” lies with the machine than they are at “detecting” lies without the machine. This is why polygraph results are NOT admissible in court.

          1. It is complete hookum. The science is so bad courts won’t admit it as scientific evidence. And the standard for “science” in courts is about as low as you can get.

          2. and to add, witnesses do not get to choose and pay for who performs the polygraph test that makes the tester beholden to the witness.

    2. Polygraphs dont detect lies or the truth.

      FBI does not investigate minor state level accusations from 35 years ago.

      And yet they are lies

  5. Rand Paul’s push to lift some Russian sanctions failed.

    classic trump

    1. Puppet of Putin.

  6. Lawyer Michael Avenatti dodged questions about whether Kavanaugh and his high-school friend Mark Judge had personally attacked his client, Swetnick.

    Always leave ’em wanting more, Mike.

  7. Sweden says the “distracted boyfriend” meme is sexist.

    buncha MRAs thinking dudes are always attentive

    1. A stupid mem on Facebook is sexist. But an entire culture that forces women to wear burkas in public is just diversity.

  8. Kavanaugh will be confirmed.

    The Democrat minority cannot stop this now.

    1. I personally think this whole rouse was a way to give the battleground Dems, like Manchin and Donnelly, a way to justify a “no” vote on Kavanaugh to their constituents.

      That means it still comes down to Murkowski and Collins. Although I’m not 100% sure that the ghost of John McCain doesn’t cast a late “no” vote to sink the deal.

      1. Worst case, it will be a tie and Pence breaks ties in the Senate.

      2. Kind of like my mother who voted republican until the day she died. Been voting democrat ever since.

  9. http://www.realclearinvestigat…..books.html

    Ford had her yearbooks scrubbed from the web before she made her allegation. The Senate appearantly have them. Ford was quite the party girl back in the day. Not quite the shirnking virgin sneaking around at the big scary beer party she portrays herself to be in her letter to Congress.

    1. Stop with the slut shaming, John.

      1. Who is slut shaming? I am sure Ford was quite a good time back in the days before she passed her sell by date. Nothing wrong with that.

    2. How does one get yearbooks taken off the web? There’s websites out there that are specifically devoted to archiving these things.

      1. Good question. I have no idea to be honest.

        1. those in power, the deep state, have the ability to change history.

      2. If your political friends control the website that it was posted on, then your friends can take the images down.

    3. Is this peak stupid yet? I mean we have the US Senate holding high school yearbooks as evidence now.

      1. Such are the wages of not dismissing 30+ year old completely uncoroborated accusastions out of hand. In a sane political environment, these accusations would have been dismissed out of hand and anyone who claimed they shouldn’t be would be written off as a nut. But we do not live in a sane political environment.

        1. I’m going to put in a FOIA request for the note that Billy passed Tommy in 3rd period study hall.

          1. I am amazed Kavanaugh still has his calenders from high school. God what a nerd. That fact alone disproves any accusations that he was some big partier jock rapist.

            1. ^This.

            2. I am amazed that a high school student had a calendar. I am 65 years old and I don’t keep a calendar.

              1. Some gender segregated schools had social calendars because of the numerous ‘social’ events to get boys and girls together to teach them to be better people.

                Elite schools are famous for that shit.

                1. But yeah, keeping a calendar from 35 years ago is not something I did either.

            3. I’m surprised myself and for legal business reasons I don’t keep anything over ten years. I was informed that if i were subpeoned for something that no longer exist there is nothing they can do about it. but I’m sure John may knows more about that than I wether that is accurate info or not.

            4. Kavanaugh, Lord of Calenders?

      2. It may be peak stupid.

        I can’t get over the fact that I hated the guy’s 4A stances and the fact he helped create the Patriot Act, but now I’m actually forced to feel bad for him being character assassinated simply for going to some dumb high school parties back when he was a teen.

        I actually believed I could not detest politicians any more than I do, and yet they keep finding new ways to make me respect them even less.

  10. …therefore making her an adult during the time period in which she claims to have attended myriad parties with Kavanaugh and Judge and implies that they were involved in serial gang rapes.

    Who doesn’t want a Supreme Court justice who was cool enough to get college chicks to come to his high school parties.

    1. Instapundit had the comment on the year on this subject yesterday.

      I can’t find it but it more less went as follows

      “Hey DC is my town. I was a free range teenager who graduated from high school two years before Ford in Montgomery County. Trust me, if there had been any rape parties, I would have attended them”.

      That is freaking awesome. Speaking of which, why hasn’t reason talked to Steve Smith? If there is a rape party going on anywhere, Steve Smith would know about it.



  11. Nick’s postmodernism video is quite good. He asks an important question. Are you a pluralist? Insularism and libertarianism are just not compatible.

    1. Seemed a tad scattered and jumbled to me. He knows the playing field for sure but I can’t shake the feeling the reason for it was because ‘we’re not Peterson!’

      As I noted in the thread over there, stop passive-aggressively talking behind his back and interview him already.

      The so called IDW guys are constantly debating and discussing with each other. By Reason not engaging and flicking baseball cards from afar they don’t do us a favor because most of us kinda get the gist of Peterson’s positions.

      Sure there may be room for challenging his assertions but rather than interview each fricken other, call Peterson him and have him explain it in his own damn words.

      1. call Peterson in

      2. “I can’t shake the feeling the reason for it was because ‘we’re not Peterson!'”

        In fact 99% of Reason articles nowadays seem to be predicated on the desperate need to inform their colleagues at Huffpo, Buzzfeed and the NYT that “Yeah we’re ostensibly libertarian, but we’re NOT alt-right! Please, please don’t un-person us!”

  12. An alleged ex-boyfriend of Swetnick’s has spoken out about a restraining order he secured against her in 2001.

    What grade was he in at the time?

  13. “…I want the American people to have those facts and judge for themselves.”

    the time magazine approach of putting a mirror on the issue that announces who the next supreme court nominee is

    1. I imagine that Time issue would not be welcome in the Kavanaugh household.

  14. Senators say two men have come forward and claimed they, not Kavanaugh and Judge, were the ones who assaulted Ford in high-school.

    Their names? Tavanaugh and Tudge.

    1. A woman named Tord just came forward and claimed that these two men could not have been the assailants, because they were in fact, at the time of the alleged assault, spit-roasting her on the other side of town.

      1. Sounds credible!

      2. Somebody call Ched Choppel over at Pightline!

  15. The Democrats are going to get away with this. Only Ford’s accusation has a shred of credibility. But all Americans see is “6 women accuse Kavanaugh of rape!” and journalists run with it!

    George Stephanopolous, Bill Clinton’s comunications director, interviewed Avanetti this morning on GMA. He didn’t push back on a single fucking thing. He didn’t challenge him on anything. The only push back was reading a quote from Lindsey Graham.

    How many Americans even know that George was Clinton’s comm. director? Shouldn’t that matter, since he’s not passing off as a journalist and questioning people about sexual assault, despite his previous job literally being covering up for all of the sexual assault accusations about Bill Clinton?

    But it’s all going to work, and they know it. The press is absolutely the enemy of the people at this point, just not for the reasons Trump says.

    1. since he’s **now** passing off. Freudian slip.

    2. “Only Ford’s accusation has a shred of credibility.”

      The credibility of Fords accusation is approximately -1000, but it is the most credible accusation.

  16. Senate Democrats suggested these anonymous accusers were false flags from Republicans intended to discredit the real accusations.

    in the future, everyone will be alex jones for 15 minutes.

    1. It was funny watching in real time as half of the journosphere was claiming that these new accusations were leaked to discredit the real ones while the other half fully ran with these same accusations as legitimate and undeniable

    2. And hopefully, no one will be Cody Wilson.

    3. We’re all just trolls now.

      1. +1 with rainbow hair

    4. I’m sure they will some how link them to Putin

  17. If Kavanaugh’s appointment is going to be legitimate, “all of these things should be investigated,” she said.

    She investigated her own memories for almost a whole week. What more could you want?

  18. Voter enthusiasm for the midterms is at a two-decade high.

    I know I absolutely cannot wait to vote straight ticket Democrat like I did in 2016! But this time not even Russian hacking will save the Republicans from humiliating defeat.


  19. Rand Paul’s push to lift some Russian sanctions failed.

    Does this mean Hillary gets to be president now?

  20. Hmm, FBI needs to investigate the Kavanaugh accusations. OK. Sounds dumb, but Democrats seem to be stickers NOW for independent investigations.

    So, who did the DFL in MN put in charge of the Ellison investigation? Their independent investigator is the law firm partner of the DFL’s own attorney.

    1. It’s pretty disgusting how much the Left loves the FBI these days.

      1. The FBI has been weaponized for Lefty causes since most bureaucrats are Lefties.

        Lefties dont consider tiny government important nor government objectivity a value. Lefties literally want to use government to further Socialists goals.

    2. I’m surprised they didn’t conjure the ghost of Paul Wellstone for the job.

  21. The House succeeded (albeit relatively narrowly) in passing it’s latest sham sex-trafficking bill, this time with language from the PATRIOT Act.

    If only they would advance my bill to punish those who go online and spread fake “it’s” contractions instead of possessives.

    1. If you read it as written, the House succeeded in passing a bill declaring itself the latest sham sex-trafficking bill.

      Maybe not technically incorrect?

    2. One of the few 1A restrictions I support, but I do so fervently.

      1. Lose vs. loose. I can’t fucking stand that constant mix up by people.

        1. Their, there, and they’re. That one should have a mandatory minimum sentence of a year in a federal pound-me-in-the-ass prison.

  22. All 10 Democrats who sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee are saying that Kavanaugh must withdraw.

    I wonder how they’ll vote.

    1. They were toats leaning toward “yes” until the gang rape allegation. No grandstanding or theatrics from them, no siree!

    2. Go team!

  23. Voter enthusiasm for the midterms is at a two-decade high.

    Seldom good for the party in power.

    1. In this case, it probably is. Remember, Congress is a series of local and state elections. The Republicans are a majority in a majority of states and Congressional Districts. The only way the Democrats can retake Congress is to have their voters turnout in larger numbers than Republicans. So, equal enthusiasm likely means the Republicans stay in power.

      1. The article specifically calls out a sharp rise in Dem enthusiasm. Republicans are relatively flat from 2010-2014-2018.

        It’s hard to see how this poll is good news for Republicans. However, I’m not sure that I believe these polls.

        1. Because the rise in Dem enthusiasm doesn’t translate nationwide. Running up big majorities in deep blue districts won’t do it for the Dems. They have to win in Red districts and states. And no amount of Dem enthusism is going to win in those places if Republicans have equal enthusiasm. Remember, even in 2012 where the Dems had big turnouts due to Obama, they still didn’t retake the House. And they would have lost the Senate if not for a couple of very bad Republican Candidates in otherwise Red states.

          1. The Republicans do have a deep structural advantage in both houses, which is why the conventional wisdom is that Dems have to get to +4 or so on the generic ballot to break even in the House.

            I think this disadvantage will start to vanish in the future–and that is a separate prediction from my usual doom and gloom about the overall shift toward the Democrats! Inherently, it will reflect trends beneficial to the Republicans–what will happen is that the red districts will indeed redden severely, as the Democrats continue to disgust everyone outside of Deep Blue America. Trump has already utterly obliterated the decades-old Upper Mississippi River Valley Anomaly, the unexplainedly blue Midwestern region that has long baffled political scientists. Ditto West Virginia, the blue-collar small- and medium-town Midwest, and so forth.

            Whether the Democrats can match this with gains among other traditional Republican populations (I predict they will enormously) is a different story. But I am sure the traditional asymmetry will close either way.

            1. The long term problem for the Democrats is that their entire coalition is based on identity politics. It is becoming impossible to keep the coalitin together because each identity group will only really turn out and support a candidate of its own identity. So blacks turned out in mass for Obama but went back to average turnout for Hillary. Worse, the whole thing depends on whites, who are still 70% of the voting electorate not voting as an identity group themselves. That has started to change. You can’t win in this country if you are losing 70+% of whites, which the Democrats did in 2016.

              Lastly, by becoming the party of women and gays, they are spliting their own identity groups. You saw this in 2016 with Trump winning more Hispanic votes than Romney did in 12. That was primarily due to him doing well among Hispanic men. That trend is likely going to contnue and I bet it spreads to blacks in 2020.

              1. Black folks are the most employed they have been in multiple generations of their community.

                Its hard to dismiss that when you pick someone to vote for.

          2. Democrats always seem more popular because the media and polls skew that.

            In reality, the Democrats throwing these accusers at Kavanaugh show that even Democrat leadership knows the election 2018 will be bad for them.

        2. These are the same types of polls as 2016.

          That is great for Republicans because the GOP trounced the Democrats in 2016.

          Same thing will happen in 2018.

    2. I have a lot of enthusiasm for replacing everyone in office with someone else.

  24. All 10 Democrats who sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee are saying that Kavanaugh must withdraw.

    “Pull out, like Nixon’s father should have.”

  25. Remember – Bizarre, but Credible!

    1. cred?i?ble
      able to be believed; convincing.
      “few people found his story credible”
      synonyms: believable, plausible, tenable, able to hold water, conceivable, likely, probable, possible, feasible, reasonable, with a ring of truth, persuasive
      “only one of the so-called witnesses could provide a credible story”

      None of the above applies

  26. Sweden says the “distracted boyfriend” meme is sexist.

    And played. The Two Buttons meme is hot now.

    1. Two Buttons? Hot now?


  27. State of Indiana: Making lethal injection drug records public would subject drug makers to “public shaming, public protests, hate mail and lawsuits” & thwart Indiana’s ability to get execution drugs. via @markalesia
    ? Tony Cook (@indystartony) September 25, 2018

    Seems like the same could be said of any public records on anyone holding a public office.

  28. I’m not a huge fan of Kavanaugh, given his likely role in the Bush Administration’s surveillance and torture programs, but his judicial record indicates he is leagues better than anyone the Democrats would support.

    Republican Senators – if they care one iota for their professed beliefs or the Constitution (a big “if#” there) – should recognize that this is the hill to die on. Get a somewhat textualist/originalist majority on the Court. Lose seats in November of necessary. There are few things more important.

    1. If the Senate decided to turn Kavanaugh down because they were tired of only Harvard and Yale guys being on the court or (gasp), they actually wanted a justice who gave a shit about the 4th Amendment, I would not care in the least. But if he were to be turned down over this bullshit, that is an affront to rationality and fairness that should offend anyone regardless of their politics.

      1. 100% agreed. If they cave to these nakedly bullshit tactics, there will never be another originalist on the Court.

      2. Agreed; all that will be needed to torpedo any nominee is a “credible”* accusation

        Never mind that none of this meets the definition of “credible”*

        able to be believed; convincing.
        “few people found his story credible”
        synonyms: believable, plausible, tenable, able to hold water, conceivable, likely, probable, possible, feasible, reasonable, with a ring of truth, persuasive
        “only one of the so-called witnesses could provide a credible story”

    2. Kennedy wasn’t the swing vote that he was often made out to be. He was pretty much a conservative justice that sided with the liberal wing on a few decisions. Kavanaugh won’t really swing the balance of the court too much.

      Gorsuch, if anything, will likely be more like Kennedy, and Kavanaugh like Scalia. If anything, Kavanaugh likely brings the court back to pre-Trump balance.

      1. Pretty much. The only time I remember Kennedy being a no kidding swing vote was on gay marrriage. Otherwise he was pretty much a straight up conservative. He was not Sandra Day O’Conner.

  29. These allegations were false, he said. Therefore, Kavanaugh’s accusers were probably looney, too (in so many words).

    Mr. Trump knows that if they can’t be presidents and justices themselves, these crazy broads will try to take down the men who can.

  30. Hey, I accuse Kavanaugh of something or other at some time and place, but now I take it back. Do I get a book deal?

    1. In 1984, Kavanaugh became a member of MS-13 and presided over massive sex-trafficking operations and was head of the drug cartel. I saw him sell at least a dozen young girls into slavery, but I don’t remember when or where this was. There were totally people with him, too, but they’ll deny it.

      #believeallaccusationsagainst Republicansnomatterwhat

      1. Kavanaugh’s nickname at Yale was “El Chapo”.

        1. I demand to see his 1994 calendar!

          Specifically, what notations were made for Sunday, June 12, 1994?

          A binge-drinking, chain raping preppy is easily capable of perpetrating a double murder and framing one of America’s beloved stars.

  31. This lady is already crying.
    Throw her the hell out

    1. It’s a just a fucking sham, anyway. Thirty-six years after the fact, it just comes down to which side was sufficiently coached in acting to sway the constitutes of a few vulnerable or spineless Republicans.

  32. “Her ex-boyfriend fraudulently used her resume to apply for and obtain jobs and was caught by her,” said Avenetti. “Why are you all attacking a sexual assault victim?

    So many things wrong here, starting with Avenetti accusing someone of an absolutely zany act of fraud. This woman had security clearances, so if this is true it is certainly public record.

    Then, he, a lawyer, pardon my spluttering, has the temerity to say “Would that be appropriate in a court of law?” Confronting an accuser is a inalienable right, you douchebag!

    [Rage quits]

  33. An environmentalist group is making claims that deserve to be investigated. They used satellite imagery and other data to show that China’s coal plant construction is making a mockery of their Paris Agreement commitments. From their report:

    “259 Gigawatts (GW) of new capacity are under development in China, comparable to the entire U.S. coal fleet (266 GW). This represents a 25% increase in China’s coal power fleet.

    China’s developmental pipeline places it on a trajectory to exceed its own announced 1100 GW coal power cap through 2020, with coal power capacity already at 993 GW in 2018.

    Adding 259 GW of new coal power in China is wildly out of line with the Paris climate agreement. According to the IEA, a 50% chance of limiting future temperature increases to 1.75?C requires China phase out its traditional coal plants by 2045.”


    Generally speaking, you judge people by what they do rather than what they say. That’s true with the Chinese government, only more so. Judging by their actions, they have no intentions of abiding by the Paris Agreement, and every country that’s inflicting economic sacrifices on their people in the belief that China will abide by the agreement needs to seriously reassess what they’re doing and why. “Because the Chinese have promised to cut their coal consumption” isn’t a good reason to do anything.

  34. “All 10 Democrats who sit on the Senate Judiciary Committee are saying that Kavanaugh must withdraw.”

    Wish fulfillment fantasies. The Left never tires of them.

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