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So, some interesting developments in Brett Kavanaugh's confirmation hearing, eh? It just looks like maybe Democrats on the Judiciary Committee have kind of caught him out in a few little instances of perjury in his 2004 and 2006 confirmation hearings for the DC Court of Appeals, his current job. Lying to Congress used to be kind of a major deal, but then, that was a long time ago, and the Republicans really, REALLY want to get this new guy on the Supreme Court so he can end abortion (and birth control!) and also investigations of Donald Trump, so let's not get too excited about the idea of a Supreme Court Justice who probably committed perjury, OK? Heck, they were only little lies about questions asked to him under oath, and surely we can overlook a bit of dishonesty in the name of Justice, huh? It's not like any of the lies involved his penis, after all. As far as we know.


There's just a WHOLE BUNCH of matters it now looks like Kavanaugh lied about in his earlier confirmation hearings. Rather than get too deep into the weeds, we will summarize, so as to preserve your already shell-shocked noggins from even more "HOLY SHIT!" whiplash.

1. (Bill) Pryor Restraint

This is a big one! In 2004, Kavanaugh testified he hadn't been involved in the vetting or the preparation for Senate testimony of Bill Pryor, George W. Bush's nominee to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. He told Sen. Ted Kennedy,

"I am familiar generally with Mr. Pryor, but that was not one that I worked on personally," Kavanaugh testified then, although he noted during the hearing that he knew Pryor. Upon further questioning, Kavanaugh said: "I was not involved in handling his nomination."

That sounds like a pretty definitive NOPE. Which makes it pretty darn weird that several emails released in the Dems' Great Big Spartacus-Off Thursday are all about Kavanaugh's participation in vetting and prepping Pryor. Dianne Feinstein was all, LOOK! DOCUMENTS! One of the documents even indicates Kavanaugh was the one who recommended Pryor's nomination to the post. That seems like ... involvement, just maybe!

We should also note that long-ago Wonkette editor/writer David Lat (who also, incidentally, was the founding editor of Lawfare Above The Law) argues here that, nah, the Pryor question doesn't count as perjury. Lat makes the case that Kavanaugh was saying only that he hadn't been assigned to work in depth on the Pryor nomination, not that he'd been completely uninvolved. As lawblogger Popehat says, the question can't and shouldn't be settled on Twitter, thank Crom:

People are reading this to mean "Lat is obviously right and there was no perjury." Nope. More "to show perjury you're going to need a lot more than two pages of seemingly contradictory highlighted testimony," You need a contextual deep dive.

Gosh, if only there were some official body with the power to do such a contextual deep dive!

Instagram, maybe?

Correction (September 13): We incorrectly said David Lat was the founding editor of Lawfare; he was actually the founding editor of Above The Law. Wonkette regrets the error.

2. Stoled Emails! (No, Not Hillary's)

Wednesday, Patrick Leahy's questioning of Kavanaugh got at why Kavanaugh might have decided not to be straight with Kennedy 14 years ago: Turns out the Bush administration had a nice advantage going in to Pryor's hearings, because Kavanaugh and others prepping judge nominees had the benefit of files stolen from Leahy and other Judiciary Committee Democrats. The files, which detailed Dems' approach to Bush judicial nominees, had been stolen by a Republican ratfucker named Manny Miranda. Emails containing information from the purloined files were released for the first time Thursday, including one with the subject heading "Spying." No, we are not making that up -- the first line also says "I have a friend who is a mole for us on the left."

Lawfare neatly sums up the problems with Kavanaugh's answers to Leahy in Wednesday's hearing:

When pressed by Senator Leahy, Kavanaugh said that he didn't know he was working with stolen information (for hearings he lied about working on). Leahy said, "I was born at night, but not last night." Leahy said that he couldn't believe that Kavanaugh was in possession of stolen information, and used [it], and testified differently.

This. Is. Perjury.

You might think, just maybe. For a guy who never knew he'd worked with stolen documents, Kavanaugh sure had a whole bunch of 'em sent to him. Perjury? Mmmmmmaybe!

3. Wire Tapps? Never Heard of 'em! Oh, THOSE Wire Tapps!

In 2006, Patrick Leahy -- who has a knack for that sort of thing! -- asked Kavanaugh whether he had ever seen "documents relating to the President's NSA warrantless wiretapping program." Kavanaugh said he was just like any other American, and learned about it from the failing New York Times:

"I learned of that program when there was a New York Times story — reports of that program when there was a New York Times story that came over the wire, I think on a Thursday night in mid December of last year," the judge-to-be claimed.

When Leahy pressed Kavanuagh, asking if the nominee heard "anything about it prior to the New York Times article," Kavanaugh's response was even more definitive — "nothing at all."

Also unclear: Did the name of the whistleblower/leaker leave Kavanaugh, wondering, like other Americans, "Where are the Snowdens of yesteryear?"

Kavanaugh's denial doesn't at all seem to fit with this here email from Kavanaugh to John Yoo about -- let's see -- the Fourth Amendment implications of doing surveillance on foreigns inside the USA, which is supposed to require a warrant:

There are, as ThinkProgress's Ian Millhiser points out, a couple caveats: The email to Yoo was sent just a week after 9/11, at a point when

any discussions about this program would have been in their early stages — Bush signed an order authorizing the program in 2002. It is possible, in other words, that Kavanaugh did not know that this specific program had been authorized, even though he communicated with Yoo about the legal justification for such a program.

Kavanaugh also told Leahy on Wednesday that he couldn't rule out he may have discussed the constitutional implications of NSA surveillance right after 9/11 because "It was all hands on deck on all fronts" at that time. Again, the sort of thing that deserves a much more careful examination of the records. We sure bet that happens!

4. Torture? We Don't Torture! We Call It Something Else.

Also in 2006, in response to questioning from Leahy and Sen. Dick Durbin, Kavanaugh said he didn't know nothin' 'bout no tortures, because of course he did:

I was not involved and am not involved in the questions about the rules governing detention of combatants or — and so I do not have the involvement with that.

Later media reports in WaPo and NPR revealed that Kavanaugh had been involved in Bush White House discussions of detentions and whether detainees should have access to counsel, and Durbin told NPR he felt "perilously close to being lied to." Durbin sent a letter to Kavanaugh asking for an explanation, and never got one. During this week's hearings, Durbin was plenty pissed about Kavanaugh's hair-splitting on the matter:

This is just one of several points where documents from Kavanaugh's time in the Bush administration could shed much more light on what exactly Kavanaugh's involvement with the detention and torture programs really was, but Judiciary Committee chair Chuck Grassley has been clear: No need for anyone to go digging around in all that old stuff, because this nominee has to be confirmed in a hurry.

5. What About Kamala Harris?

Then there's that question Kamala Harris asked Kavanaugh Wednesday about whether he'd ever discussed the Mueller discussion with a lawyer from Kasowitz, Benson and Torres, and his weird dodgy non-answers -- gee, he's never heard of Marc Kasowitz, who represented Donald Trump? Harris returned to the question last night, and finally got a straight answer, after a full day of hedging and avoidance by Kavanaugh: "The answer is no," he finally said, and Harris seemed to drop the matter, saying "Thank you. And it would have been great if you could have said that last night."

But is there more to the story? Harris sure as hell acted like she knows something Kavanaugh doesn't want to talk about, and he took forever to get to "no," so we wouldn't be at all surprised if the subject comes up again -- and if it turns out there's more to it than "no," we could be looking at a little light perjury, maybe.

Now, Yr Wonkette can't say for sure Kavanaugh's half-answers to any of this stuff proves he lied in his earlier confirmation hearings, but there's a hell of a lot of hinky-looking stuff here -- there's at least enough to warrant a much closer look at all of it, because it sure would be nice not to have a perjurer get a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court.

And no, Chuck Grassley waving his hands and insisting there's nothing more to see really is not an adequate replacement for a thorough investigation.

[Mother Jones / Above the Law / HuffPo / WaPo / Daily Beast / ThinkProgress / Atlantic / Vox / David Lat on Twitter / CNN]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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OOH BOY HOWDY, The Federalist is on fire this week! Just this morning we told you about the hilarious Federalist column where one neo-Nazi's mom and dad are Democrats, ipso facto QED NEO-NAZIS ARE THE REAL LIBERALS, FUCKERS! Is America's dumbest woman whose name doesn't rhyme with Cara Snailin' over there being a total fuckin' Mollie Hemingway right now? Sadly, she blocked us on Twitter, so how could we possibly know? The answer is WE DON'T CARE.

But now we have a gem of the Federalist genre, an article written by a whiny-ass gay quisling conservative, who would like to chew on his blankie and whine about how much harder it is out there for a conservative than it is for a gay person. This is a subject we happen to have some knowledge about, because we are super gay! And we know a lot about conservatives, both firsthand -- being subjected to them every single one of our almost four decades of life -- and also from covering extremist right-wing Christians for a very long time. Particularly the kind that tell young, impressionable, vulnerable gay kids that they need to pray away the gay if they want Jesus to exercise some self control and refrain from sending them to a fiery hell for all eternity.

We clicked on the article with high hopes. See if you can spot why:

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pic via Glamour Shots, we mean this dude's old website

The House Education and Workforce Committee was all set to have a hearing today all about the horrors that a higher minimum wage would wreak on the economy. Horrors like rich people being slightly less rich. Horrors like business owners claiming they will have to fire people and charge $15 for a McChicken if forced to pay workers a living wage, which they won't actually do because no one will buy a $15 McChicken and they would go out of business if they tried that, and they already don't hire more people than the bare minimum they can get away with. Horrors like poor people not being "motivated" to work harder and get better jobs that do not pay them an amount no human being could possibly live on.

Alas, as Politico reports, it was not to be, as committee members discovered their big witness for the hearing, San Diego State University economist Joseph Sabia (pictured above in a Glamour Shot from his archived website), was kind of a wacko.

Sabia, as it turns out, once had a blog called "No Shades Of Gray," in which he wrote many columns of an extremely homophobic and sexist persuasion. In one of these columns, in 2002, Sabia was very mad about one man's lawsuit against several fast food giants for contributing to his health and obesity problems by failing to disclose the nutritional information of the food they sold. In retrospect, I think most people are now on board with these chains being required to post calorie counts and other nutritional information, but in 2002, Sabia was convinced that requiring them to do this would be an assault on freedom for all Americans everywhere. His response to this was to try and attempt a Jonathan Swift posture and suggest taxing gay sex, which he claimed leads to "disastrous health consequences."

Because sure, that's the same thing, basically.


In gay sex, we have an activity that is clearly leading to disastrous health consequences. What rational person would engage in this sort of activity? There is only one solution - let's tax it.

"Come on, Sabia," you say, "how are you going to enforce these taxes? Are you going to send government officials to peep into everyone's bedroom?"

Eventually. But first we have to mount the assault on Big Gay (no, I am not talking about Rosie O'Donnell). We can tax gay nightclubs, websites, personal ads, sexual paraphernalia, and so forth. Talk about a sin tax!!! We can cripple gay-related industries and get them right where we want them. All gay clubs will have to feature huge, flashing warning signs like "CAUTION: Entering this nightclub may increase your chance of contracting STDs and dying."

Big Gay clearly lures people into trying their "product" without discussing the risks to mind, body, and soul. The average Joe on the street does not understand all of the possible bad outcomes. I can almost hear him now:

"They said '100 percent hotties.' I thought that meant it was fun. I thought gay sex was OK…Now I have all these diseases. Big Gay has wrecked my life."

In the immoral words of Warren G, "Regulators!! Mount up!"

EXTREME SHUDDER.

In another 2002 article, classily titled "College Girls: Unpaid Whores," Sabia laments that feminists have led college girls to stop trying to be like the Holy Virgin Mary and instead to aspire to be more like that hussy Ally McBeal.

No, really.

As women have strayed from the church, they have replaced what is holy with what is temporally pleasing. For Catholics, the model woman is Mary, the virgin Mother of God. She is beloved by the faithful for her unflappable devotion to and trust in God, her nurturing of the Son of Man, and her deep love for all humanity.

Today's college girl looks to Ally McBeal, the trollops of Sex in the City, and the floozies on Friends to set their moral compasses.

The sad truth is that college girls are so desperate to find love that they are willing to degrade themselves to get it. But true love can only be understood in the context of the Word of God. Any other notion of "love" is secular and, by definition, limited and finite.

Not only that, but instead of going to college to find a husband, they have boyfriends. Boyfriends they have S-E-X with. And sometimes, not even that. Sometimes they have sex with people just because they want to have sex with people, and not even in exchange for Valentine's Day cards or money!


Additionally, other sex-based relationships have become commonplace. In recent years, a new and disturbing arrangement known as "friends with benefits" has emerged. In this arrangement, men are not even forced to perform the normal duties of boyfriends, i.e. flowers, Valentine's Day cards, rides to the abortion clinic, etc. Instead, girls consider these guys "just friends" whom they happen to screw every now and again. No strings, no attachments, no dinners. Just sex when they feel like it.

This type of arrangement is the next logical step in the direction that young women have drifted in the last few decades. These women have become unpaid whores. At least prostitutes made a buck off of their trade. These women just give it away.

How cute! He was like the ur-incel, basically.

Anyway, following the discovery of the posts, the House Education and Workforce Committee's GOP communications director Kelley McNabb told Politico that "members were uncomfortable moving forward on the hearing." A more optimistic person might think this was a step forward, that maybe those committee members actually thought it was bad to suggest that being gay means being a disease-ridden monster or that college girls are whores, but it's probably more to avoid embarrassment than anything else. Guess they'll have to start from scratch and find a crappy economist who will tell them what they want to hear about the minimum wage but who doesn't have an embarrassing Geocities blog in their past. Good luck with that!

[Politico]

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