Hope you’ve had your morning coffee.
What happened last night is the culmination of years of far right wing religious conservatives being given a platform they don’t deserve. And it shows just how terrified the people running the Kavanaugh confirmation process are.
Most people don’t know the name Ed Whelan. He’s considered by the right wing elite to be a great legal mind. In the days when the fight for marriage equality was front and center, Whelan’s positions were prominently supported and distributed by anti-LGBT groups, and he was called on to speak against marriage equality.
Apparently, Whelan is good friends with Judge Brett Kavanaugh, and is working to help him get confirmed.
Thursday night, in a mad series (mad as in: odd, desperate, strange, and OMG WTH are you doing?) Whelan shared his theory that Brett Kavanaugh may not be the person who sexually assaulted and attempted to rape Dr. Christine Blasey Ford.
Not that it didn’t happen, but just that someone else was the attacker, and Blasey Ford is mistaken.
It was not well-received:
A prominent DC conservative, trying to promote an alternate theory that someone else (and not Kavanaugh) may have sexually assaulted Professor Ford, named that person, showed photographs suggesting Ford confused the two and more. This is stunningly irresponsible.
— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) September 20, 2018
Already there’s been a Kavanaugh doppelgänger theory, published in of all places The Washington Post, by none other than Kathleen Parker. She wrote on Tuesday, “given the high regard in which Kavanaugh has been held throughout his life, including during high school, it would make the most sense. Could there be a Kavanaugh doppelganger?”
Now the Kavanaugh team is (unofficially) putting out that maybe Blasey Ford was attacked – but she is just mistaken about who held her down, covered her mouth so she couldn’t scream or breath, and tried to rape her.
They think this is a good idea.
The Washington Post Thursday night reported this was being discussed by the White House group trying to get Kavanaugh onto the nation’s highest court, and describes the the insanity that took place last night, noting that Whelan “is close friends with both Kavanaugh and Leonard Leo, the head of the Federalist Society who has been helping to spearhead the nomination.”
“Kavanaugh and his allies have been privately discussing a defense that would not question whether an incident involving Ford happened, but instead would raise doubts that the attacker was Kavanaugh, according to a person familiar with the discussions.”
Here’s what that looked like, as the Post explains:
Amid the maneuvering, the nomination was roiled further late Thursday by incendiary tweets from a prominent Kavanaugh friend and supporter who publicly identified another high school classmate of Kavanaugh’s as Ford’s possible attacker.
Ed Whelan, a former clerk to the late justice Antonin Scalia and president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center, pointed to floor plans, online photographs and other information to suggest a location for the house party in suburban Maryland that Ford described. He also named and posted photographs of the classmate he suggested could be responsible.
Exhibit A, screenshot of a few of Whelan’s tweets from Thursday night, offering up a different, possible suspect:
The Post adds:
Ford dismissed Whelan’s theory in a statement late Thursday: “I knew them both, and socialized with” the other classmate, Ford said, adding that she had once visited him in the hospital. “There is zero chance that I would confuse them.”
So the Kavanaugh team is so disturbed their guy is about to lose his confirmation battle they’re willing to stoop to this – and even name someone else who they say might have been the attacker.
Here’s how a few experts responded to Whelan’s crackpot theory.
First, the always spot-on Steve Schmidt:
People drown because they panic, not because they can’t swim. The Whelan email is symptomatic of the utter panic consuming a nomination that hangs by the thinnest of threads and the looming spectacle of out of touch octogenarians like Orin Hatch interrogating Dr. Ford.
— Steve Schmidt (@SteveSchmidtSES) September 21, 2018
Some are calling for the FBI to determine if Kavanaugh was in on this:
The FBI must investigate Whelan’s scheme to see if Kavanaugh played any role, including offering up the name & address of one of his HS classmates so he could be served up as sacrificial lamb. Any participation is disqualifying & investigation is now necessary to a background.
— Joyce Alene (@JoyceWhiteVance) September 21, 2018
Some suggest it appears Kavanaugh did know:
Post doesn’t come out and say it but seems overwhelmingly likely Kavanaugh knew about Whelan’s nutbar theory, possibly played some role in concocting it. https://t.co/LEXPF9l6Tk pic.twitter.com/6Wlgbdy6OS
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) September 21, 2018
Some are wondering about Whelan’s behavior:
I’ve dueled with Ed Whelan for years. He’s partisan, viscous & completely lacking in charity to people who disagree with him. But he’s a smart lawyer and I assume he knows the tort of defamation exists. I’m genuinely worried about him. This bizarre behavior is not characteristic.
— Ian Millhiser (@imillhiser) September 20, 2018
And for more, the always perfect Rachel Maddow.
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Stephen Miller Says He’s Fighting ‘Transgender Ideology’ Because Schools Are Teaching ‘People Are Whatever They Want to Be’
Stephen Miller, advisor to the former president, attacked on Wednesday what he calls “transgender ideology,” claiming it is so concerning to a democratic society it impacts “what it means to have and maintain a country,” and will force all Americans to “adopt a transgender viewpoint.”
He did not explain what that means.
Miller says he’s fighting to protect America’s “Judeo Christian heritage” and “Western Civilization,” although he never specifies from what, just transgender people in general.
A white supremacist who served as Senior Advisor to then-President Donald Trump and continues in that role, Miller told Christian Broadcasting Network’s David Brody, on his Real America’s Voice web show, that he is fighting an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission case, claiming that the EEOC failed “to include a constitutionally required religious exemption.”
Miller started his own far right wing law firm, America First Legal, from which he says he is battling the EEOC “so that people can speak their truth.” That apparently excludes transgender people.
“So they will be forcing religious Americans, religious believers, people of faith, to violate their deeply held beliefs, their own private conscience rights and to adopt a transgender viewpoint,” Miller claims. “This is really an issue about science, it is about religion, but also about science because the undisputed biological definition of sex, really, is being turned upside down because of a radical agenda that really now is beginning in our elementary schools teaching young people, that there are no boys and girls, men and women, but in fact, people are whatever they want to be, which has profound implications for medicine for culture, for religion, and for truth itself,” Miller said.
(For decades if not longer Americans have told their children they can be “whatever they want to be.”)
“We are a country whose ethical, religious and moral heritage is Judeo Christian,” Miller said. “What it means is that Judeo Christian values, form the bedrock of our declaration. Our constitution, our civil rights, our moral character, who we are as a people who we are as a country, we inherit from our founders that deep religious faith that deep cultural attachment to these principles, and when they are under assault, our whole nation is under assault, we ought to be teaching and inculcating into our children these fundamental values and principles that made us who we are, that makes Western civilization what it is that is critical to having not just a great present, but an amazing future for this country.”
“My personal view is that this is a failed ideology that is destined to topple in on itself. For this agenda to succeed for the transgender ideology to succeed, they need people to be scared and quiet and not to speak the plain truth. Because once people say I’m not going to bow down to something I know is untrue. I’m not going to be afraid I am going to speak my mind respectfully tastefully, honestly, it’s not going to hold it will crumble the edifice will collapse.”
For $500 You Can Get a Personalized Video Message From Donald Trump Jr. – and Support Mercenary Soldiers
“George, this is Donald Trump Jr. Congratulations on becoming a U.S. citizen, that’s absolutely amazing,” he says in one message on the site. “Joseph tells me that your ceremony didn’t include the usual welcome message from the President so while I’m not the President obviously I’d like to personally wish you a heartfelt congratulations. I look forward to having you here participating in the American process, and the American dream. Congratulations once again man and maybe we’ll see you at a MAGA rally sometime in the not too distant future. Have a good one.”
Cameo is a five-year old platform that allows celebrities to make money by selling video messages to fans. The Independent reports Trump Jr. was “complaining about ‘millions’ in legal bills in from [the] New York AG probe.”
Messages are available up to a week after booking, but for $787 supporters can get turnaround in under 24 hours.
In another message for a couple’s 50th wedding anniversary Trump Jr. plugs his family’s golf course, and says he hope he’ll see them there.
The son of the former U.S. president has chosen a unique charity to support, and one that would help him in whatever possible future political campaigns he might wage. He says “a portion” of the proceeds will be donated to the Shadow Warriors Project, a nonprofit that supports wounded mercenaries – also known as soldiers for hire, or soldiers of fortune. That charity is listed at Charity Navigator as too new to rate.
The group says it is “dedicated to the support of private military security contractors, conducting paramilitary security operations in some of the world’s most dangerous areas.”
Users who pay for a video message can rate them. George gave Don Jr. 5 stars.
‘They Are Trying to Frame Me’: Giuliani Says Feds Raided Him Because Trump ‘Doesn’t Have Constitutional Rights’
Former Trump personal attorney Rudy Giuliani says federal investigators “driven by Trump derangement syndrome” are trying to “frame” him, while claiming the former president “doesn’t have constitutional rights.”
In what appears to be a rambling and at times nonsensical interview with Fox News, Giuliani, a former New York City mayor and former U.S. Attorney, insists he did not break federal law by lobbying for Russian interests or on behalf of Ukraine.
“Giuliani claimed the investigation itself was spurred by federal investigators’ ‘hatred of President Trump,'” Fox News reports.
“They are beyond the ability to control their rational thinking or their decency, and they have a serious, serious ethical issue, driven by Trump derangement syndrome,” Giuliani said. “They are trying to frame me.”
“They are trying to find something they can make into a crime, some technical violation, some mistake I made,” he claimed. “They’ll take anything.”
“The only lawyers they raid are lawyers for Donald Trump,” Giuliani told Fox News, which is false. “I can’t think of another lawyer that has been raided other than lawyers for Trump.”
“Trump is in a special category because he doesn’t have constitutional rights,” Giuliani falsely claimed.
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