The Second Time Around

We have been here before, of course. We have been here many times in the past year, and the story always involves power, and the lengths to which people will go to achieve and sustain it.

And if that were the entire story, we could understand it, the corruption of the individual, the stuff of novels and movies. But the real story is never about one person; it is always about the infrastructure of power, the aiders and abettors, people whose silence can be bought, people whose fear keeps them silent, people whose own power depends on staying in line.

This is how you get rape apologists.

This is also how you get traitors.

And this we understand as well, these networks of corruption, this cancer on the body politic. The lies, the deceit, the psychopathic cynicism, all this is understandable, human nature being what it is, power being what it is. People are assholes. We get that.

We mention the past year, because this is the story of the past year, as well as a generation ago. The power is the same, what people will do in possession of unaccountable power is the same: They will try to get away with it. Always have, always will.

But what makes this unlike stories from the past year, and more like the story from a generation ago, is that people do get away with it. The evil is not vanquished. There are no shameful resignations, no withdrawals (however brief) from the public stage. The bad guys win. Power is sustained. That’s what power is for, after all: Perpetuation. Power works.

And, well, this we understand too, that the arc of the moral universe can take a bloody long time bending toward justice. We understand this, and we understand that in the long run, we are all dead.

And that is where we reach the end of our understanding, and turn into Marge Gunderson.

Because we don’t understand why anyone outside that network of corruption has to buy any of that bullshit.

A Supreme Court nominee stands credibly accused of rape — “sexual assault” if you must be polite — and he expresses no contrition or remorse, while his act itself, however long ago it happened, remains a prosecutable crime.

And… that’s it. Nothing else. End of story.

That’s not how it’s playing out, of course, because that’s never how it plays out, and that’s not how it played out the last time. The network of corruption is doing what it always does, sustaining the nomination with all the power it can wield.

And, like last time, they are getting away with it. They are being Taken Seriously instead of being dismissed out of hand as the moral troglodytes they are; they are being addressed politely when they should be regarded as assholes. The Game is being played, and god help us we don’t understand why people are playing along. Respect is being paid where not owed.

This we do not get. We do not get why formalities are being carefully observed when there’s a murderer in the back seat and a body in the woodchipper. We do not get the point of deferring to senators and hacks who are gleefully running a baldfaced con.

We do not get The Game.

“There’s more to life than a little money, you know,” says Marge Gunderson to the murderer in her back seat at the end of Fargo. “Don’tcha know that? And here ya are. And it’s a beautiful day.”

And then a pause, and then the line we can never forget:

“I just don’t understand it.”

We don’t understand why The Game must be played this way, why it must be played at all, why people are not simply regarded as moral weasels by everyone who is not them, including people whose job it is to inform the public about the moral weasels running the show.

We don’t understand why, and we have never understood why, because in the end, we are always Marge Gunderson in the front seat, forever having to deal with it anyway.


They are going to jam this thing through, drive it home, force it into … well, you get it. If near-rapist K gets through, it will be up to the Sr. Sen. from my state (NY represent!) to remove him. Chuck probably will whiff, so with luck in 2020 we can destroy every single fucking one of them. And I mean Gorsuch. And even Scalito … the majority of us are permitted to have the country we want to have, and the laws that govern women the least. One step at a time, but take those fucking steps. They can be taken out of power, they can be sent packing, but the job is to destroy them. Financially, politically, socially, and anything else … they can live, but only barely.

“They will try to get away with it. Always have, always will,” he wrote, and now there’s a second woman on the record (flashing/touching) and a third alluded.

Ol’ Brett certainly cut a path through the Eighties.

I received an email of dubious provenance urging me to sign up for TrumpCare supplemental health insurance. I dismissed it as a scam, but after noting the poor grammar and numerous misspellings therein, I Googled TrumpCare to see if it’s a thing.

It’s a thing and a scam. It’s those effin tax cuts.

I am such a boiling mess of inchoate rage, I’m worried about how I’ll be by Thursday.

Meanwhile, this –>

@nojo: So. I went to public school (K-6th), co-ed prep school (7th-9th), and all-girls parochial school (10th-12th).

My prep-school’s graduating class was between 50-60 kids. Many prep schools were close geographically and socially: Baldwin, Shipley, The Haverford School, Episcopal Academy, Friends’ Central… Some were farther away like The George School, Agnes Irwin, Germantown Friends, Friends Select.

We started meeting each other in middle school though mandatory sports (blech field hockey – no left-handed sticks), and some of us lived in the same neighborhood but went to different schools. Some siblings were split between all-girls and all-boys schools, and those circles overlapped like a weird Venn diagram of kids 12-18 years old with the odd 19-20 year old sibling who was taking a break from a lesser Ivy.

Baked went to the one public high school on the Mainline that was basically a free prep school that was included in the mix.

Monday was The Day. Monday was the day you heard about whose house was trashed, like Joe Walsh trashed, and who brought which drugs, who had sex, and we fake whispered about these things while watching Thaddeus free climb the outside of the Upper School building. The headmaster kept threatening him with suspension. We were waiting for him to fall.

I hung out with the kids who went to the shore. They were nouveau riche whose were close enough to working class to bring me with. We got high and slept through Mass the next day. Non-WASPs = personae non gratae.

Parochial School – I was one of 260 students likely graduating at the same time. Our brother school was up the street. I showed up two years ahead in French, one year ahead in science. Basically, I was a freak. But socially, I was able to disappear.

Stuff happened on Senior Week. I just deleted it from this post. I wasn’t attacked because my housemates found me.

Looking back, the amount of mental privilege these kids had was STAGGERING. What had they done but been born lucky? Lucky, beautiful, and rich.

@SanFranLefty: The Boys Club is a life without consequences, that moral hazard economists (and Andrew) talk about. This is what you get. This is what power gives you. This is what power is: Carefree living.

It’s self-reinforcing, self-perpetuating. Boys will be boys! White boys, anyway. Rich white boys, especially.

And part of what makes it carefree, the perniciousness of it, is that they can take it for granted, live their lives thinking that’s the real world, because really, what other have they known?

But that’s granting good faith, an unchallenged innocence. Kavanaugh knows what he did, knows what he did was wrong, and his studied evasiveness shows he knows it. And until now — perhaps even now — he’s gotten away with it. And why not? Everyone else has.

@JNOV: I see this in some of my high school friends, we kids from a Comfortable Background. Because they’re not top o’ the heap, they refuse to accept they have any advantages at all, and all those losers are just whiners who haven’t put in the work.

I’ve tried pressing on this, pointing out the contradictions in what they say, the limits of their awareness, blah blah blah. Brick walls. Totally fucking hopeless. They can only be defeated.

And I try telling my Nice Liberal high school friends this, and I might as well be a streetcorner crank. The perniciousness of all this is staggering — staggering to me, anyway, as a Nice White Boy myself.


and all those losers are just whiners who haven’t put in the work.

Yes. And as men come forward to corroborate the allegations, they will be attacked. They will be called the losers of the school who have an axe to grind no matter how successful they are now. Back then they were losers because [fill it in].

I can name damn near everyone I went to school with for 7th-9th grades. I reconnected with a ridiculous number of them on FB, and then I wondered why I bothered? I didn’t like most of them then, and they didn’t like me. Curiosity only goes so far.

@SanFranLefty: Same here. I’m really fucking sick of seeing the one millionth think piece about how we need to listen and empathize with the Tdumbpists, especially the white Republinazi women that enable sexual predators and rapists (which is AOT,K) because they’re living in a different reality or some such bullfuckingshit. Have they ever even tried to listen or understand us? Of course not. That’s never even crossed their minds. To hell with ’em.

It’s deeply ironic that tDUMP has spent years sneering and whining about how the world has been laughing at us, and now they’re actually laughing at that hateful, lying, illiterate, racist imbecile that’s totally destroyed US leadership and credibility. Christ, what a sleazy fucking buffoon.

No wonder it’s impossible to feel anything other than revulsion and disgust for him and his despicable voters.

Meanwhile, they’re aiming for a Senate vote this weekend, before it goes completely off the rails. Susan Collins will reveal herself for what she is, and that will be that.

Murkowski: “We are now in a place where it’s not about whether or not Judge Kavanaugh is qualified. It is about whether or not a woman who has been a victim at some point in her life is to be believed.”

That’s more than Collins has been able to say.

I think we’re looking at two votes to block. One vote, and Race Bannon steps in.

@nojo: You know, our entire federal government is in a legitimacy crisis, and the Republinazis are too stupid to understand that, or so arrogant that they simply don’t care (surprise: it’s both).

I mean, Democrats received millions more votes, but Republinazis control CONgress due to gerrymandering and geographic-based representation over population. The Senate is controlled by an extreme minority of low-population states that wield an outsize influence and approve the Cabinet and court nominations. The (s)Electoral College installed Prezinazi AntiChrist after he lost the election by some 3 million ballots.

I don’t know the political science term for this despicable, evil regime, but it sure as hell isn’t democracy or representative of the citizens of our republic. It would look radically different if it were, and so would electoral outcomes. What it is for certain is an illegitimate fraud.

@¡Andrew!: I’m waiting for a significant number of our fellow citizens to recognize this. It ain’t a legitimacy crisis if they think it’s legitimate.

They would sooner recognize this if the Times did. But the Times won’t. They’re too wedded to the system to question it.

@SanFranLefty: My all female book club meets at my house that evening, which should turn into a Kav-bashing drunk fest. Mr. Cyn will be heading for the hills.

@nojo: I’m still pinning my hopes on demographic changes that will ensure Tdump is the last Republinazi president—ever. So we should be OK if we can hold the degenerate white trash at bay until 2024-ish.

I do wish his dentures had flown outta his mouth during the UN speech—OMFG can you even imagine??

If there’s a FSM in Heaven…

@nojo: I shit thee not. Let the stroke-outs begin Thursday morning

@nojo: But, but, The Central Park Five!

Fucking asshole president.

Well, now the childrens are gonna learn about gang rape when they study Commander Kavanaugh’s ASScension to the Supreme Kangaroo KKKourt. Just when you think the Rapeublicans can’t possibly go any lower, OMFG. Time to roll out Ofbrett again to testify to his (ass)holiness.

@¡Andrew!: Kavanaugh was part of the crew that taught last generation’s children about blowjobs. And who said Republicans don’t support sex education!

@SanFranLefty: I’m seriously thinking about taking a vacation day. I’ll be so useless at work anyway, and I will need my emotional support kitties.

The first rule of getting out of a deep hole is “stop digging.”

Apparently Judge McRapey didn’t get the memo as it seems his Calendar Defense just morphed into Calendar Self Incrimination thanks to accuser number 3.

CNN: “It has led the President to believe that he must personally take charge of defending his embattled nominee ahead of Thursday’s critical appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Trump made the decision to hold a news conference on the eve of the hearing, making it the fourth he has held as president.”

5pm ET today. Lordy.

@nojo: And he’s already in a twitter war with Michael Avenatti, which he will lose. Brilliant strategy.

Meanwhile, Sen. Jeff Merkley of Oregon declared his candidacy for president in 2020 filed a lawsuit to stop the Kavanaugh confirmation:

@Mistress Cynica: Not sure I like Grandstanding Jeff, but he did get his publicity out of it.

@nojo: CNN, of all of the obtuse establishment outlets, is starting to get woke. I guess having Prezinazi AntiChrist hang a target on your back can do that.

@nojo: Twitler currently has 20 women accusing him of being a serial sexual predator—that fact should be added to Every. Damn. Story.

Nomi Prins wrote a thought-provoking essay recently in which she hypothesized that we may witness the Tdumbp/GOP regime collapse suddenly, like Lehman Brothers collapsed in 2008, if the Dems retake the House and Senate, thus effectively ending this abomination. We’ve never really had a political collapse in our modern era—even the Nixon resignation was well-managed in comparison to what happens in other countries—so buckle up.

@¡Andrew!: No, just an economic collapse. Which should have led to a political collapse, but everyone was scrambling.

@¡Andrew!: And Nixon, correct, no general political collapse. By the time he resigned, the story had been playing out forever, including network-broadcast hearings. Ford wasn’t wrong about “long national nightmare”.

“Are gang rapes really a big deal?” Susan Collins probably asked.

@¡Andrew!: I wished I lived in Maine just so I could annoy her staff and vote her out. Here in Colorado there’s no point calling Senator Kochsucker, so all I can do is wait for 2020.

CNN: “Multiple sources familiar with the private Wednesday meeting told CNN that Collins appeared unnerved by the latest allegation, citing in particular that it was a sworn statement sent to the panel, which carries with it the possibility of perjury for lying to Congress.”

Leaked private meeting. Susan Collins wouldn’t want you to think bad of her!

And there’s another. Letter sent to Major League Ducker Cory Gardner. Funny how Cory hasn’t said anything about Kavanaugh in his Twitter feed.

‪Odd how the Federalist Society has been thoroughly grooming judicial candidates for a generation and overlooked the rapey parts.‬

Oops! Five now! And another presumably Republican leak! Man the lifeboats, this ship is going down!

I suck at predictions, but what the hell: Kavanaugh’s gone before the hearing.

Dems worry that Republicans are leaking anonymous allegations to muddy the waters. Sounds too clever by half to me, but we’re all sniffing the same clues here.

@nojo: It probably didn’t even occur to them to ask; they’ve been political rapists all of their lives, so the fact that many of them are sexual rapists is a feature, not a bug.

@ManchuCandidate: So how about that election in New Brunswick? The Libs pulled off a real squeaker, and I just love Brian Gallant’s cute accent.

Local Indivisible group is doubting the Denver letter as well, suspects Cory being Cory in releasing it. He is an opportunist scumbag, after all.

I might throw up. I was home on maternity leave during Professor Hill’s testimony. When Thomas said, “High-tech lynching,” I felt like throwing up. All of a sudden the Rs gave a half a shit about strange fruit.

@Mistress Cynica: Agreed. Luckily this isn’t my in-office day. Not that I’ll probably get much done today.

Goddamn I am watching the hearing this morning with Dr. Ford and only a few minutes in I want to stab Grassley in the dickhole. Major respect to Dr. Ford for going for this, and kudos for Dianne Feinstein for her restraint in not punching Grassley in the face while she’s sitting next to him.

I can’t watch, and the coverage is gonna suck, too. Everyone’s going to pretend this is not only legitimate, but the epitome of legitimacy. And when Republicans say “she had her day in court”, everyone’s going to buy that, too.

It’s the “everyone” part — the political media, the Times/WaPo crowd — that disgusts me. They should know better. They don’t. They’re part of it.

@rptrcub: Grassley mansplaining to Dr. Blasey Ford and interrupting DiFi is all I need to see.

I’m trying to work while watching this.

I am going to break something. I want to go throttle every single goddamned person who continues to defend the vile piece of shit being nominated for the highest court in the land.

We are not citizens, we’re subjects.

@rptrcub: Grassley interrupting the prosecutor cross-examining Dr. Blasey Ford and addressing her as “Miss Rachel” is beyond rage-inducing.

@SanFranLefty: Someone has observed that no woman has spoken without Grassley interrupting.

@nojo: But he whines he was “rudely” interrupted by Kamala Harris when she asked for a copy of the map they were putting in front of the witness.

This is not a cross examination! She is not on trial.

I’m going to have to unplug from this. I am about to vomit.

CNN: “The Chief [John Roberts] has been worried about the taint of all this spreading to the Supreme Court.”

That noun is almost enough to restore my faith in journalism.

The moment the news came out, we all had flashbacks, and we all were right.

I feel so sick. Blah blah flying. SHE SAID SHE’S CLAUSTROPHOBIC! Christ almighty. Why would someone who needs two front doors be comfortable in a sealed tube in the fucking sky?

I’m about to call out sick.

Lindsey Graham is up for reelection in 2020.

@JNOV: And he’s playing to the primary.

@nojo: Jesus Christ his second statement is so fucked up.

@Mistress Cynica: My emotional support kitties are in hiding.

This is just so fucked up.

They really should have bailed before the hearing. They won’t win brownie points by bailing now. Their opponents are fucking pissed, and the election is just forty days out.

@JNOV: I retreated into continuing education type stuff, reviewing dry things like project management/gantt charts/time management things like that online in lieu of watching the rest of it.

I can tell you from visiting my parents in S.C., political commercials there have GOP candidates trying to out-Trump each other, which would include defending Kavanaugh to the death within that greater portfolio. Mark Sanford’s primary loss probably scared the shit out of Lady Bird Graham. Oddly, even in the GOP primaries for governor in Georgia, beside gun totin’, imm’grant huntin’, teenager shootin’ Brian Kemp, the desire to be really really close to Trump was not as pronounced. Our Democratic candidate (and SFL classmate!) Stacy Abrams has Georgia Republicans scared, especially as they know women in the Atlanta suburbs, of all races and ethnicities and religions and any other difference you can think of, ain’t. having. it. (Hillary won all core metro Atlanta counties, even once conservative Cobb County.)

Mobilize, mobilize, mobilize.

Both upChuck GrASSley and Miss Lindsey need to be taken out back and beaten with Bill Cosby’s dick.

@rptrcub: YES!

@¡Andrew!: Maisie: So, um, temperament…important?

This is horrible. If this fucker is confirmed, IDK. Jesus.

@JNOV: Can’t wait to see the taint spread back at DC Appeals.

Committee vote Friday morning, as planned. Then it goes to the floor, where Susan Collins will express concern before voting to confirm.


Corker’s on board. Flake’s doing a Conscience Dance for the groundlings.

Manchin’s probably in, unless HD video of the rape turns up.

@nojo: When is the floor vote? He’ll make it out of committee. Even if he doesn’t, McConnell will still call a floor vote. There’s time for more shit to hit the fan.

@JNOV: Not scheduled yet, to my knowledge. Mitch won’t call it until he has the votes, unless he wants to make a point of it going down in flames.

@nojo: “Procedural vote” by full Senate on Saturday. Probably something parliamentary about moving the nomination to the floor.

Mitch wants a final vote Tuesday. We’ll see if he calls it.

Collins, Flake, Manchin, Murkowski: Looks like that’s the game right now. And only Murkowski has expressed any humanity that I’ve seen.

@nojo: Welp. When Lindsey is AG, I wonder if he’ll think today was worth it.

@JNOV: Lindsey just changed his Twitter avatar to a buddy shot with Kavanaugh.

I may need to launch a gofundme for a grave-pissing tour.

@JNOV: Yale also produced Clarence Thomas–the nation’s most famous judicial sexual predator–just in case anyone is questioning Yale’s rape culture and kleptocracy bona fides.

And… Wow:

Columbia sociologist explains why Kavanaugh thinks he can get away with blatantly lying to people’s faces

Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh made multiple false statements during his testimony on Thursday, ranging from incorrectly stating the legal drinking age in Maryland, to false claims about messages written in his yearbook, to mischaracterizing sworn statements from attendees at the party where he allegedly assaulted Christine Blasey Ford.

To explain Kavanaugh’s mendacity, Shamus Khan, the chair of the sociology department at Columbia University, has written an op-ed for the Washington Post in which he explains that the Supreme Court nominee was raised from an early age to believe that rules don’t apply to him.

In particular, he said that the institutions where Kavanaugh was educated — Georgetown Prep, Yale University and Yale Law School — foster a sense of entitlement that gives them a perceived license to lie.

…the Supreme Court nominee has likely never paid any price for his misdeeds, which leads him to believe that nothing bad will happen to him if he makes blatantly false statements under oath.

“This collective agreement that accountability doesn’t apply to Kavanaugh (and, by extension, anybody in a similar position who was a youthful delinquent) may help explain why he seems to believe he can lie with impunity,” he writes.

Ultimately what this all boils down to is that these people are simply incapable of feeling empathy.

Plantation America’s corrupt, destructive ruling elites feel entitled to all of it: women’s bodies, the nation’s wealth, and control over everyone else’s lives.

This toxic megalomania has led directly to the catastrophic failures of leadership that we’re enduring today.

@¡Andrew!: Brilliant tweet yesterday: “Congratulations to Brett Kavanaugh on his first consequence.”

Flake’s a Yes. Conscience Dance over.

@nojo: At least these women ripped Flake a new asshole. That’s slightly cathartic. OMFG—he actually hid behind a woman in the elevator. He’s such a disgusting, spineless coward.

‘Don’t look away from me!’ Watch furious women confront cowering Jeff Flake for supporting Brett Kavanaugh

@¡Andrew!: Someone suggested that Flake’s dining experience might bear enlightenment.

I’m in awe that these women were able to deliver such an incredibly powerful indictment of not just Flake but really the entire Rapeublican party.

I would’ve punched his smug fucking face.

Flake has an “agreement” with DiFi and Grassley to delay the floor vote a week for an FBI investigation, but nobody asked Mitch. God knows the state of play here.

Murkowski’s on board with delay. Not sure of Mitch’s margin of error here with Manchin uncertain. But more time means more noise, which is what they’re desperately trying to avoid.

@nojo: Yeah, that “agreement” isn’t worth a pinch of shit. It’s just yet another head Flake to try to seem reasonable. Promises made by Rapeublicans have no validity.

And they haven’t even gotten to the gang rapes yet.

Hope everyone enjoyed Infrastructure Week!

Dotard J Tdumbp’s dick is so tiny that the unlucky sex workers he’s hired say he’s just nuts.

Flake: “Yes. I’m a conservative. He’s a conservative. I plan to support him unless they turn up something—and they might.”

All the other manifest lies, the corruption in the suspicious payoffs, no problem. He’s a conservative!

Pelosi: “I will say this — if he is not telling the truth to Congress or to the FBI, then he’s not fit not only to be on the Supreme Court, but to be on the court he’s on right now.”

I have my beefs with her, but this is not one of them.

@nojo: Meanwhile SCOTUS thinks, “Shit. We have zero enforcement power. Frat boy rapist is gonna fuck up our gig. Time to call a headhunter and get paid.”

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