Sunday, September 30, 2018

Across The Universe, Cont. -- Gravity Distortions

(click on image to enlarge)

From NASA/ ESA, September 24, 2018: This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image contains a veritable mix of different galaxies, some of which belong to the same larger structure: At the middle of the frame sits the galaxy cluster SDSS J1050+0017.

The gigantic mass of this cluster creates the fascinating phenomenon of strong gravitational lensing. The gravity of the cluster bends light coming from behind it in a similar way to how the base of a wine glass bends light. The effects of this lensing can be clearly seen as curved streaks forming a circular shape around the centre of the frame. Astronomers can use these distorted galaxies to calculate the mass of the cluster — including the mass of the dark matter within it — and to peer deeper into the Universe as otherwise possible. Gravitational lensing does not only distorts the views of galaxies, it also enlarge their appearance on the sky and magnifies their light.

Hubble has viewed gravitational lensing many times, and produced truly stunning images. Astronomers even set up a dedicated programme to study different galaxy clusters which show a great number of lensed galaxies: The Frontier Fields programme. This way some of the most distant galaxies in the Universe were found. With each additional cluster being observed some more distant galaxies are added to this list, slowly completing our picture of how galaxies looked and evolved in the early Universe.

Credit: ESA/Hubble & NASA
Acknowledgement: Judy Schmidt

He's Sure The Boy He Loves

Our world- class moron, easily duped by some "beautiful letters" from the soulless leader of a ruthless dictatorship:

This has nothing to do with ensuring peace and everything to do with the narcissist's ego.

Sic transit gloria, America.

Holy Cow: Seaweed Diet May Cut Their Methane

Scientists are saying that cow flatulence accounts for some 25% of methane gas emissions in the U.S., and that cows should be fed a different diet to reduce it. Australis Aquaculture, a Massachusetts-based agricultural research company, is working on a type of seaweed that could substitute for some or all of cows' current feed and cut down on the bovine tooting. Animal science experts at the University of California-Davis have studied the use of seaweed in cows' diets and support Australis' findings. The only hurdle is to be able to mass produce and distribute the enormous quantities that would be needed:
"Challenges remain, said Ermias Kebreab, a professor of animal science at UC Davis. The seaweed needs more tests to determine if it would impact meat and milk quality from the animals.

The challenge of producing enough of the seaweed is staggering, leading [Australis CEO Josh] Goldman to call it an 'aquatic moonshot.' He estimated that the amount of seaweed needed to reach every cattle operation would be greater than the amount presently farmed in the world."
 Let's wish them the best for the planet's (and the cows') sake.

Sunday Reflection -- Paris 1914 In Color

Take a Sunday break and look at these extraordinary color photos of Paris from 1914, with many more at Lady, That's My Skull (found via Infidel 753).  A brief description first:
In 1909, a wealthy French banker named Albert Kahn wanted to document the world using a new color photo process called Autochrome Lumière, so he commissioned 4 photographers to take their cameras all over the world. [snip] 
Starting in 1914, Kahn’s photographers, Leon Gimpel, Stephane Passet, Georges Chevalier and Auguste Leon, documented life in Paris using color filters made from dyed potato starch grains. 
They made these color photos over a century ago (with a small amount of color enhancing done on the original shots). 
In addition to the many shots of Paris, around 72,000 Autochromes from around the globe were created through Kahn’s project.
What a revelation to see familiar and not- familiar sights from Paris 100- plus years ago in color, some showing Paris on a patriotic war footing at the beginning of World War I, some showing everyday life proceeding before the horrors of war came home to France.

(click on images to enlarge slightly)

These aren't all -- there are more at the link above.

Here's something to listen to as you look:

SNL Skewers Kavanaugh And His Senate Republican Enablers

"Saturday Night Live" manages to mine black comedy from the KavaNut hearing (with Matt Damon brilliantly playing KavaNut and Kate McKinnon as an auditioning Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry" Graham).

Images: The Hand

For courageous sexual assault victim Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, the searing memory from her attempted rape was the laughter of drunken prep thug Brett "KavaNut" Kavanaugh and his sick sidekick from Georgetown Prep, Mark Judge. We can't escape the infuriating and powerful story she told of KavaNut's hand over her mouth while he was trying to remove her clothes: the silencing a female victim -- just 15 --  by a more powerful male, an obscenity which continued into last week's hearing courtesy of the all-white male Rethuglican Judiciary Committee majority. Two artists have captured the essence of the outrage. November can't come soon enough.

(from top: Bruce MacKinnon, Halifax Chronicle Herald; Ana Juan, for the October 8 cover of The New Yorker)

Saturday, September 29, 2018

QOTD: "Limbaugh-Loving Scumbag Frat Boy"

"Perhaps one needs to step back a bit to appreciate how far from a judicial performance it really was. Here was a member of Washington’s elite – 'I got into Yale without any connections!' he screeched – who would have been far better served portraying himself as an aggrieved, decent guy, one who might become a neutral umpire calling balls and strikes. Instead, he went full Limbaugh-loving scumbag frat boy on national TV. And keep in mind that these weren’t spontaneous outbursts of emotion — his testimony was carefully rehearsed during hours of prep at the White House." --  Joshua Holland, commenting on raging butthead and drunken assaulter Brett "KavaNut" Kavanaugh's snarling, contemptuous, hyperpartisan, unbalanced performance in Thursday's Senate Judiciary Committee hearing. One wonders if Stephen Miller or unhinged sociopath Donald "Rump" Trump himself rehearsed KavaNut.

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Adam Zyglis, The Buffalo News)

(Nick Anderson, Washington Post Writers Group)

(Kevin Siers, The Charlotte Observer)

(Clay Jones, via

Vid Twofer: Canada Laughs At Trump and Maher Skewers KavaNut

After literally being laughed at in the UN General Assembly earlier this week, it's no secret that ignorant narcissist and Russian asset Donald "Rump" Trump is both loathed and ridiculed across the globe. Our noble neighbors in Canada have a special distaste for Mango Mussolini, as shown in this segment from their show "22 Minutes." All together now, "trader, trader, traitor, traitor" (h/t Crooks and Liars):

Bill Maher had one of his better opening monologues last night, where he dismantled drunken frat boy assaulter and angry butthead Brett "KavaNut" Kavanaugh:

Kavanaugh's Belligerence And Casual Lies Are Telling

Set aside the "carpool dad" mask and the evasions uttered during his previous confirmation hearings. Here are some reads about the "performance" of Republican operative- turned SCOTUS nominee Brett "KavaNut" Kavanaugh in his denial of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's allegations.

Rolling Stone's Jamil Smith (written before the Flake timeout) on KavaNut's belligerent display of fragile machismo to distract from the allegations made against him:
... Kavanaugh had the act down cold. Petulant and entitled, he took advantage of the leeway that his gender affords him. While Ford painfully adhered to standards of female decorum, perhaps in order to be believed — note how often she asked “Is this good?” — Kavanaugh clearly felt that he had license to misbehave. In lieu of exonerating information, he testified as though his belligerence would ensure that he was believed. Even more than denying the accusations, he openly resented having to endure this “national disgrace,” as he called it. 
The Supreme Court nominee began his virtuoso performance of Trumpian machismo with a line that the president must have loved. “I wrote it myself yesterday afternoon and evening,” Kavanaugh said at the top of his opening remarks. “No one has seen a draft of it except for one of my former law clerks,” he continued. “This is my statement.” Kavanaugh chose to wing it on what could have been the most significant day of his career, relying more on arrogance than aptitude. [snip] 
... Is Kavanaugh the stilted choirboy who celebrated his adolescent virginity on Fox News? Or is he the belligerent and condescending prep-school brat? Is he the guy who, as we’ve been told by accusers and former classmates alike, was a sloppy and mean drunk? After yesterday, I think we know him a little better. [snip] 
Kavanaugh, a veteran of the George W. Bush administration, exposed himself anew as a naked partisan, railing that the resistance to his nomination was about “revenge on behalf of the Clintons.” I laughed to keep from crying as I imagined him giving a fair hearing to a case involving Planned Parenthood or any other group associated with the left. 
In normal political times, such a display would have immediately disqualified Kavanaugh from serving on the Supreme Court... (our emphasis)
The WaPo's Philip Bump has the extensive list of lies and misdirection KavaNut deployed at the hearing.  Many centered around his answers to questions (for example, by Rhode Island Democratic Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse) on KavaNut's contemporaneous calendar notations:
Whitehouse is referring to comments in Kavanaugh’s yearbook that read, “Judge — have you boofed yet?” and simply “Devil’s Triangle.” 
Some have claimed that this is a clear reference to vomiting, suggesting drunkenness, or perhaps that it refers to a form of alcohol ingestion meant to avoid the smell of alcohol on one’s breath. Others have said that “devil’s triangle” refers to a sexual encounter involving three people. There is not contemporaneous documentation of those terms available online that would suggest those meanings were Kavanaugh’s real intent. (Sites such as Urban Dictionary emerged only in the Internet era and may not be instructive about past slang.) 
Update: Several readers who attended high school at about the same time as Kavanaugh have written in to suggest that “boof” is a compression of a vulgar term for anal sex. One noted a similar usage in the Frank Zappa song, “Valley Girl.” 
High school slang is often very specific to small groups of people, so it’s hard to say that Kavanaugh was misleading here. We’ll note, though, that the New York Times’s David Enrich says he spoke with a number of Kavanaugh’s former classmates and that he thinks Kavanaugh was not being truthful(our emphasis)
With all that, Bump's still being too easy on the slug ("some have claimed," "it's hard to say"). It's ok to grow a full pair, Philip.  See Greg, below.  (The New York Effing Times also has a problem with calling a lie a lie. If you boys can't manage that, you don't deserve your paycheck.)

The WaPo's Greg Sargent zeroes in on KavaNut's lying about the most trivial things:
The question of just how deep Kavanaugh’s misrepresentations run will probably remain inconclusive and mostly confined to the realm of he-said/she-said. But as Lili Loofbourow persuasively argues, the preponderance of the evidence does lean toward a decent amount of falsification, particularly since he is “doubling down on an unsustainable and untrue account of himself” as “all innocence,” which he did not have to do. 
Never mind, for now, the bigger matters that Kavanaugh stands accused of misrepresenting and falsifying. This sort of casual lying about trivial things that one should own up to belongs in its own category of reprehensibleness. It betrays a special order of contempt for one’s listeners to feed them obvious crap about matters that most ordinary people would forgive, if only the speaker copped to them. 
My guess is that Kavanaugh panicked. All that grooming for this position — Georgetown Prep, Yale, the Federalist Society gatherings and schmoozing, all the slimy, sordid partisan committee grunt work against Democrats, and, in fairness, all the grinding study and hard work — flashed before his eyes.  (our emphasis)
And, a reminder --

Not hard to imagine what this guy's like drunk if he's this uncontrolled (presumably) sober.

BONUS: The Intercept has a good rundown of KavaNut's lies -- big and small -- at Thursday's hearing.

Friday, September 28, 2018

Bibi Bombs Out Again

You might remember this from September 27, 2012, when Trumpian Israeli Prime Minister Bibi "Bomb Bomb" Netanyahu brought his highly technical diagram to the UN General Assembly to "prove" where Iran's nuclear weapons program stood:

(Photo: REUTERS/Lucas Jackson)

Here's how the Obama White House responded at the time to Bibi's bomb:

Well, after helping convince Dolt 45 Donald "Rump" Trump to ditch the Iran nuclear deal, he's up to more mischief, and is apparently still using the same questionable prop- maker (Acme Corporation?) to accuse Iran of hiding a "secret atomic warehouse":

What's questionable, you ask?

Atomic- powered flying carpets?!?  The Iranians are further along than we thought.

Unfortunately, Bibi's apparently errant intelligence and simple- minded visual might just be enough to convince Dolt 45 to send a cruise missile flying that- a- way, as a kind of "October surprise."  Of course, the danger here is that both Bibi and Rump are politically (and legally) vulnerable and could use a distraction, even one based on the flimsiest of evidence.  Rump would certainly be egged on by crackpot National Security Advisor John Bolton, whose life mission is regime change in Iran.  Do we think this is a likely scenario? Iran's ally Russia might have a countervailing opinion for its asset in the White House. But meanwhile, Bibi continues to play with fire, and unlike an Acme Corporation bomb, it could burn a lot of real, live people.

(h/t Balloon Juice)

Graham: I'll Tell Trump About Kavanaugh Delay

The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to report out the SCOTUS nomination of drunken party assaulter and raging butthead Brett "KavaNut" Kavanaugh, with the stipulation by weak-kneed Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Arizonastan) that an investigation into sexual misconduct allegations on KavaNut be done before the full Senate vote. Man with a collection of antebellum petticoats and Trump suck-up Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry" Graham chatted with reporters after the vote, describing his next task, lubing up to tell the news of the delay to his boss, sociopath and sexual predator Donald "Rump" Trump:

Heh heh. Get the kneepads ready, Sen. Sugarpants!

Today's Kavanaugh Kartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Jack Ohman, Sacramento Bee)

(Ellis Rosen, The New Yorker)

(Peter Kuper, The New Yorker)

Weekend Don't Lie Music

Music and film icon Barbara Streisand has just released her new album, "Walls," containing this single, "Don't Lie To Me."  As Streisand explains, it's aimed at lying shitgibbon Donald "Rump" Trump -- but today it could easily be aimed at Rump's boy, Brett "KavaNut" Kavanaugh.  Try not to grind your teeth too much over the next 48 hours.

Vid Of The Day -- "Look At Me When I'm Talking To You" (UPDATED)

Sexual assault survivors confront predictably spineless, worthless, waste of space Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Invertebrate) after he announces he's voting to send the nomination of Brett "KavaNut" Kavanaugh to the Senate floor:

What an appropriately disgraceful legacy this pious fraud will leave in his ephemeral wake.

Fellow spineless weasel Sen. "Li'l Bob" Corker (R- Invertebrate), who like Flake is retiring and thus never has to face his party's frothing- at- the- mouth base, has also indicated he will vote to confirm KavaNut.  That's two gutless weasels down, with Sens. Collins and Murkowski to go.  Are you expecting profiles in courage from them?

BONUS Jeffrey Toobin on "pathetic" Flake.

UPDATE:  Flake has a wrinkle:  he's voted yes to advance KavaNut out of committee, but will "ask" for a one- week delay to allow for an FBI investigation before voting in the full Senate.  Those women who accosted him at the elevator may (may) have lit a tiny ember of a conscience in him.

Tweet Of The Day: The Kavanaugh Vote

In a nutshell:

The Ford-Kavanaugh Hearing: A Kimmel (And Colbert) Take (UPDATED)

Jimmy Kimmel has his usual humorous but insightful take on the hearings yesterday, on the Committee's 11 Republican Senators, on bad beer spokesman Brett Kavanaugh, on drama queen Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-Peckerwood), and on bit player Donald Trump, Jr.

UPDATE: We have to give you the Steven Colbert take, too:

Thursday, September 27, 2018

Judicial Temperament

After Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's moving testimony this morning, it was Trump nominee and drunken party assaulter Brett "KavaNot" Kavanaugh's turn, and he obviously got a pep talk from the White (Supremacist) House to throw his elbows. He was at times blubbering, aggressive, petulant, confrontational, rude and self-pitying. He interrupted Dem Senators trying to question him, and turned his head away while they questioned him. He began the hearing with a strikingly partisan statement, blasting Dems on the Committee and everyone from the Clintons to "left-wing organizations" out to "destroy" him. It was a study in nonjudicial temperament, and could serve as a study of someone who needs anger management training. He looked like he was having an emotional breakdown for much of the hearing. Not hard to imagine him being a mean drunk, as his classmates have said.

His belligerance seemed to pump up the cowards on the Rethuglican side, as they dispensed with the female prosecutor and spoke directly to KavaNot. Prominent among the hypocrites was that flower of Southern gentility Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry" Graham, who was apparently auditioning for AG Jeff Sessions' job. Huckleberry bared his teeth in an impassioned attack on his Dem colleagues, something that was certain to impress his BFF, lying sociopath Donald "Rump" Trump. Dessicated corn stalk Chairman Chuck Grassley spent most of the hearing fumbling around, looking like he forgot his Metamucil this morning. Here are some other reactions to KavaNot's disturbing performance:

BONUS: The American Bar Association is asking the Senate to delay the vote on Kavanaugh until after an FBI investigation is completed.

Dr. Ford's Testimony

In her testimony today before the Senate Judiciary Committee -- that is before 10 Democrats and a "female assistant" prosecutor representing the Rethug cowards who sat faceless behind her -- Dr. Christine Blasey Ford delivered an emotional, totally credible and honest account of the sexual assault on her by Supreme Court nominee and drunk assaulter Brett "KavaNot" Kavanaugh in 1982. The female prosecutor, Rachel Mitchell, tried to pitch questions at Ford to try to undermine her account, including some nonsense about her fear of flying, how Ford got to and from the site of the assault, and who paid for her polygraph test. In the end, she failed to lay a glove on Ford, who said what she knew and didn't know.

As some evidence of the Rethuglican panic, Trump BFF Sen. Lindsey "Huckleberry" Graham, his tighty whiteys in a bunch, spoke to the press after the hearing and appeared highly agitated and angry, a sign that the hearing didn't go well for KavaNot. Also, the scheduled meeting between lying con man Donald "Rump" Trump and Deputy AG Rod Rosenstein has been cancelled for today, apparently reflecting their concern over the floundering KavaNot nomination. Rump sees his problem, maybe because he sees KavaNot in himself:

Even over on Rump TV, there's some panic showing too, with their judge Andrew Napolitano saying the hearing was a "disaster for the Republicans.

We're certain the phone lines between the White (Supremacist) House and the Rethuglican Committee members are heating up now, with a livid Rump twisting their arms in an effort to hold the line. We'll see if the Judiciary Committee votes as scheduled tomorrow morning, and if there are any surprises.

Today's Cartoon

No need for others;  this captures it all on this watershed day.

(click on image to enlarge)

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

Why Won't They Believe Women?

As most of you who are able to, we'll be watching the testimony of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford this morning beginning at 10 a.m. EST. Then this afternoon, accused party boy assaulter Brett "KavaNope" Kavanaugh will be testifying as to his choir boy character, and that all of the women accusers and individuals corroborating their accounts are liars. We sincerely hope the Dems come coordinated and prepared for that with guns blazing, given the fact that the Rethugs have limited their time to 5 minutes each. One question that should be asked of the Rethuglican Senators is "why won't you believe women?"

The shameful behavior of the Judiciary Committee's Rethuglican majority -- 11 middle aged to elderly white men hiding behind a female prosecutor asking their questions for them -- is exceeded in shamefulness by their plan to ignore Dr. Ford's testimony and ram through a Committee vote tomorrow morning at 9:30 a.m.  No FBI investigation of Ford's claims or those of the other two named accusers who have stepped forward.

Yesterday, week-kneed Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) got up on the Senate floor for what many thought would be a call to slow the process down to allow an investigation of the charges. True to form, he delivered a "can't we all just get along" spiel where he talked about both Ford and Kavanaugh as "human beings." Profile in vacuity. That's the measure of the "concerned" Rethugs who will whine about what a tough spot they're in, then vote to confirm KavaNope.

Here's CBS's live feed of the hearings:

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

BOOM Again: Fourth Kavanaugh Accuser Alleges 1998 Assault

The dam is bursting just upstream from Brett Kavanaugh:
The Senate Judiciary Committee is inquiring about at least one additional allegation of misconduct against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, according to a letter obtained by NBC News and multiple people familiar with the process. 
Republican Senate investigators asked Kavanaugh about the new complaint, NBC News has learned, during a phone call on Tuesday between Kavanaugh and committee staff. Sources told NBC News that Kavanaugh denied the allegation in the letter during the call and a spokesman for the committee declined to comment. 
A Republican aide on the committee said the conversation took place shortly after noon. While Republican staff posed questions to Kavanaugh, their Democratic counterparts were also on the call but did not ask any questions. 
According to an anonymous complaint sent to Republican Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, Kavanaugh physically assaulted a woman he socialized with in the Washington, D.C., area in 1998 while he was inebriated. (our emphasis)
He wasn't a teenager in 1998;  he was 30.

Don't be surprised if the nomination is withdrawn soon (like, before tomorrow's hearing).

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's Written Testimony

Read Dr. Blasey Ford's written testimony to be delivered tomorrow to the Senate Judiciary Committee here (pdf).

She recounts the sexual assault and how it "drastically altered her life."  She's going to be a blockbuster witness.

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Dan Wasserman, Boston Globe)

(Jim Morin, Miami Herald)

(Clay Bennett, Chattanooga Times Free Press)

(Matt Davies, Newsday)

(Stuart Carlson, via

Mid-Week Patrol Song

Northern Irish indie band Snow Patrol rose to fame on their 2006 breakout, Grammy-nominated hit "Chasing Cars," which was the biggest selling single in the UK that year. This spring, they released a new single, "What If This Is All The Love You Ever Get?," featuring lead singer Gary Lightbody on piano (and a raft). Enjoy.

BOOM: And Then There Were Three

Michael Avenatti has produced a third Kavanaugh accuser:
In a Wednesday tweet, lawyer Michael Avenatti released emails with a lawyer for the Senate Judiciary Committee containing the name of a third woman detailing sexual misconduct allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 
A spokesperson for Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley said Wednesday that lawyers for the committee “are in the process of reviewing it now.”

The client, Julie Swetnick, alleges in a sworn declaration that in 1980 and 1981 she attended house parties with Kavanaugh and Mark Judge, Kavanaugh’s accused accomplice in the alleged attack of Christine Blasey Ford in the early 1980s. 
There, Swetnick claims Kavanaugh engaged in “abusive and physically aggressive behavior toward girls, including pressing girls against him without their consent, ‘grinding’ against girls, and attempting to remove or shift girls’ clothing to expose private body parts.” 
Swetnick also claims that Kavanaugh and Judge would spike the alcoholic “punch” at parties “so as to cause girls to lose their inhibitions and their ability to say ‘No.’” 
She claimed that boys at these parties used this technique to “gang rape” a drunk woman at the party with a “train” of men waiting in the hallway to have their turn. Swetnick alleged that Kavanaugh and Judge were among the boys she saw “lined up outside rooms at many of these parties waiting for their ‘turn’ with a girl inside the room,” though it does not appear that Swetnick witnessed such an attack. 
Swetnick alleges that she was a victim of a gang rape, and that Kavanaugh and Judge were “present” when it happened — though she does not explicitly say that they took part in the alleged attack.
The sworn declaration can be viewed at the link above.

Here's Avenatti's tweet:

Kavanaugh's Choir Boy Act Doesn't Wash

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Watching Brett Kavanaugh playing the ludicrously virginal choir boy (the alter ego of rapey drunk "Bart O'Kavanaugh") with his stricken wife at his side in the Monday night interview on friendly Fox News has compelled several more Kavanaugh college friends to call out his blatant lies:
Liz Swisher, who described herself as a friend of Kavanaugh in college, said she was shocked that — in an interview focused largely on his high school years and allegations of sexual misconduct — he strongly denied drinking to the point of blacking out. 
“Brett was a sloppy drunk, and I know because I drank with him. I watched him drink more than a lot of people. He’d end up slurring his words, stumbling,” said Swisher, a Democrat and chief of the gynecologic oncology division at the University of Washington School of Medicine. “There’s no medical way I can say that he was blacked out. . . . But it’s not credible for him to say that he has had no memory lapses in the nights that he drank to excess.” 
Lynne Brookes, who like Swisher was a college roommate of one of the two women now accusing Kavanaugh of misconduct, said the nominee’s comments on Fox did not match the classmate she remembered. 
“He’s trying to paint himself as some kind of choir boy,” said Brookes, a Republican and former pharmaceutical executive who recalled an encounter with a drunken Kavanaugh at a fraternity event. “You can’t lie your way onto the Supreme Court, and with that statement out, he’s gone too far. It’s about the integrity of that institution.”  (our emphasis)
He's a "smooth liar" -- but not smooth enough by half.  He's already been caught lying about his past actions as a Republican operative throughout his confirmation testimony. No wonder he doesn't want to "clear his name" by having the FBI question him under oath (unlike his accusers).

Seth Meyers also has a "Couple Things" to discuss regarding the Kavanaugh appearance on Fox News:

In the meantime, more corroborators of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's account of Kavanaugh's sexual assault have stepped forward (see post below).  There's an awful lot of smoke here, and it's not of the dry ice variety.

A lying, drunk, serial sexual assaulter to be installed on the Supreme Court for life.  Well, you have to say he largely fits the profile of rotted out, privileged white male Republicans who never had to answer for their misbehavior (see also, "Trump, Donald").

BONUSBooman has a good read on Kavanaugh's lying self.

Breaking: Four Can Corroborate Ford's Story

Lawyers for Dr. Christine Blasey Ford have provided the Senate Judiciary Committee with sworn statements from four individuals who are corroborating her story of attempted rape by troubled judge Brett Kavanaugh. Three friends and her husband have sworn to the accuracy of Ford's account of being molested by a drunken Kavanaugh during a party in 1982. According to one of the individuals:
"In her declaration, Adela Gildo-Mazzon said Ford told her about the alleged assault during a June 2013 meal at a restaurant in Mountain View, California, and contacted Ford’s attorneys on Sept. 16 to tell them Ford had confided in her five years ago.

'During our meal, Christine was visibly upset, so I asked her what was going on,' Gildo-Mazzon said in her declaration. 'Christine told me she had been having a hard day because she was thinking about an assault she experienced when she was much younger. She said she had been almost raped by someone who was now a federal judge. She told me she had been trapped in a room with two drunken guys, and that she had escaped, ran away and hid.'"
The statements will be used by lawyers for Ford in the hearing scheduled for tomorrow before the Senate Judiciary Committee, where cowardly Rethuglican Senators will be hiding behind a female Republican prosecutor brought in to question Ford. The Rethugs were rightly terrified of having their misogynist flags fly by asking delicate questions themselves or appearing to bully Ford themselves, which some Rethugs (cough Orrin Hatch cough) would love to do.

Lawyers for a second Kavanaugh accuser Deborah Ramirez have been rebuffed by Committee staff, after coming forward with an offer to testify before the Committee about Kavanaugh's exposing himself to her in their freshmen year at Yale. Ramirez has also called for an FBI investigation into her allegations. One of Kavanaugh's roommates at Yale at that time has described Kavanaugh as an aggressive drunk, adding "I believe her."

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Quote Of The Day -- "A Serpent Covered In Vaseline"

Conservative New York Times opinion columnist Bret Stephens, tell us why you "despise" embattled Texas Sen. Ted Cruz (R- Lizard):
Because he’s like a serpent covered in Vaseline. Because he treats the American people like two-bit suckers in 10-gallon hats. Because he sucks up to the guy who insulted his wife — by retweet, no less. Because of his phony piety and even phonier principles. Because I see him as the spiritual love child of the 1980s televangelist Jimmy Swaggart and Jack Nicholson’s character in “The Shining.” Because his ethics are purely situational. Because he makes Donald Trump look like a human being by comparison. Because “New York values.” Because his fellow politicians detest him, and that’s just among Republicans. Because he never got over being the smartest kid in eighth grade. Because he’s conniving enough to try to put one over you, but not perceptive enough to realize that you see right through him. Because he’s the type of man who would sell his family into slavery if that’s what it took to get elected. And that he would use said slavery as a sob story to get himself re-elected.
Can't argue with any of that.

Beto O'Rourke for Senate.

Today's Cartoons

(click on images to enlarge)

(Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

(Joel Pett, Louisville Herald-Leader, KY))

(Tom Toles, Washington Post)

(Jen Sorensen, via

(Ann Telnaes, Washington Post)

The Laughingstock Of The World

Our national disgrace, the narcissistic clown, embarrasses himself (and us) in front of the world (again):

Reactions abound:
And finally,

Did Slimy Roger Stone Offer A Bribe?

Dirty trickster and pervert Roger Stone has worked the sewers of Republican politics ever since his time working on the re-election campaign of disgraced President Richard Nixon. He was once convicted felon Paul Manafort's partner in a sleazy consulting firm that not only smeared Democrats, but had clients that reeked of tyranny and corruption. His most recent claim to fame is his involvement with Russian intelligence via WikiLeaks' role in DNC e-mails stolen by Russian military intelligence, actually "predicting" the release of the stolen e-mails in advance of their publication. The Mueller investigation has long been interested in Stone's dirty work on behalf of the campaign of Putin employee Donald "Rump" Trump.

Now there is reporting that Stone tried to shift responsibility for those WikiLeaks contacts to activist comedian Randy Credico, going so far as to offer to help pay Credico's legal bills so that he would echo Stone's false account.
"During the 2016 campaign, [Stone] appeared on multiple occasions to accurately predict WikiLeaks’ plans to release hacked emails from Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. In August 2016, Stone claimed he had communicated with WikiLeaks’ founder Julian Assange. But in 2017, as investigators probed whether Trump associates had played a role in Russia’s plot to subvert the election, Stone changed his story. Last October, Stone told the House Intelligence Committee that Credico had served as his contact with WikiLeaks. That is: Stone claimed all he knew about the group’s plans, beyond what it said publicly, came from Credico. [snip] 
Credico says he subsequently complained to Stone about the legal expenses he would incur from getting dragged into the Russia investigation; Stone, he claims, offered to help him defray those costs—and urged him not to challenge his claim that Credico was a back channel.

'He said, "Hey, look. I can’t put it together myself, but I have friends that will contribute to a defense fund,’ Credico says. He notes the timing of Stone’s offer left him with the impression that it was contingent on Credico not disputing his version of events. 'He certainly did not want me to contradict him,' Credico adds."
(our emphasis)
Mueller will get to the truth, which will probably result in a perjury rap for Stone, among other felony charges. It can't come soon enough for this vile, treasonous gutter snipe.

80,000 Jobs Lost Under Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker While Foxconn Deal Soaks Taxpayers (And Party Mocks Sexual Misconduct)

Wisconsin's oleaginous Republican Gov. Scott "Koch Head" Walker, when he's not union busting, has been working cons on his constituents for years, with the assistance of his drooling Republican state legislature. Some chickens are now coming home to roost as he tries to survive another election cycle.

Milwaukee's NPR station reports on the reality of con #1:
When Gov. Scott Walker mounted his first gubernatorial campaign he made a bold claim: that during his first term as governor he would create 250,000 jobs for Wisconsinites. He is just now nearing that figure after nearly two terms on the job. 
Most economists believe that governors have a limited impact on how many jobs are created in a given state. That being said, local economist Bruce Thompson believes Walker’s policies may have actually resulted in a loss of 80,000 jobs in Wisconsin.
Have a look at what those reactionary policies are, particularly as they compare to economic development policies in Democratic- governed neighbor Minnesota.

Walker's highly touted initiative to bring Taiwanese tech giant to Wisconsin is also being exposed as a con job. Lawrence Tabak at American Prospect has a deep dive;  here's a snippet:
Industry experts put the employee count for even the original large-scale LCD manufacturing plant at 2,000, just 15 percent of Foxconn's promised workforce. Foxconn’s original plans estimated that three-fourths of its workforce in Wisconsin will be hourly, a pattern that fits the company’s core expertise: assembling iPhones and other electronic devices. For 15 years, Wisconsin taxpayers will be subsidizing Foxconn’s payroll for employees making at least $30,000 to the tune of 17 percent, while capital costs over the first seven years of construction will receive a 15 percent rebate. Should Foxconn hit its capital expenditure and employment targets, Wisconsin taxpayers will end up sending some $3 billion to the company. While state-level support is touted as tax relief, in fact Wisconsin has already waived almost all of the pertinent taxes for businesses. The taxpayer-funded $3 billion in incentives (the largest ever to a foreign company) will be paid largely in cash. The local municipalities are chipping in another $764 million via a tax increment financing (TIF) project so large that the state legislature had to pass a waiver, since this amount far surpasses the statutory prudence level of 12 percent of existing municipal property values. Additional taxpayer-supported costs have put Wisconsin's total outlay at well over $4 billion, more than $300,000 a job. How expensive is this?
As Jeffrey Dorfman, economics professor at the University of Georgia, reported for Forbes in 2017: “Realistically, the payback period for a $100,000 per job deal is not 20 years, not 42 years, but somewhere between hundreds of years and never. At $230,000 [or more] per job, there is no hope of recapturing the state funds spent from taxes on the company and its workers.” Tim Bartik, an economist at the nonpartisan, independent W.E. Upjohn Institute in Kalamazoo, Michigan, who specializes in economic development, concurs: “The per job cost is at least five or six times, maybe seven or eight times, the incentive average.”   (our emphasis)
We're beginning to suspect Walker was a graduate of the dealmaking course at Trump University.  Here's a deal:  let's trade Walker for Democratic nominee Tony Evers.  This is a very winnable race for Democrats, so let's get back to the Wisconsin Idea and away from the Wisconsin Con.

BONUS:  Here's the level of discourse in the Wisconsin Republican Party right now --

(Photo:  "See this?  We're vacuuming these out of your pockets!")

Some Of Kavanaugh's Female Supporters Now Having Second Thoughts

Oh, Brett, they hardly knew ye.

At least two of the women who have publicly vouched for that virginal exemplar of Republican morals, Brett Kavanaugh, are having second thoughts about their man:

(h/t Karoli Kuns)

Meanwhile, we have Kavanaugh's freshman year roommate at Yale, James Roche, vouching for Debbie Ramirez and painting a now- familiar portrait of the young man as a drunken abuser:
"It is from this experience that I concluded that although Brett was normally reserved, he was a notably heavy drinker, even by the standards of the time, and that he became aggressive and belligerent when he was very drunk. I did not observe the specific incident in question, but I do remember Brett frequently drinking excessively and becoming incoherently drunk." 
Roche says he became friends with Debbie Ramirez. "She stood out as being exceptionally honest, with a trusting manner. As we got to know one another, I discovered that Debbie was very worried about fitting in. She felt that everyone at Yale was very rich, very smart and very sophisticated and that as a Puerto Rican woman from a less privileged background she was an outsider. Her response was to try hard to make friends and get along."
Who, again, is more believable?

BONUS:  Kavanaugh has a gold - pated endorser who, like the smarmy Mitch McConnell (see post below), says Kavanaugh's accusers are liars --

Wow, "the likes of which have never been seen before!"  Even worse than the accusations by multiple women who've accused YOU of sexual misconduct? Just, wow.

Monday, September 24, 2018

Tweet Of The Day

So, the Republican Senate Majority Leader is now calling Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and Deborah Ramirez liars.

We think you all know what to do, now and on Tuesday, November 6.

3-D Gun Creep Arrested For Underage Sex

The defiant sociopath who published blueprints for 3-D plastic guns on the internet was deported from Taiwan and returned to Texas where he has been charged with sex with a minor. Cody Wilson, 30, had allegedly been in Taiwan on "business" when Taiwanese immigration officials detained him and deported him back to the U.S. Last month, a Federal judge blocked Wilson from posting the free blueprints of the gun on line. Now, Wilson is offering the blueprints on his website for any sum of money.

Police say that Wilson fled to Taiwan when he learned he was under investigation for the assault. He's since been released on bond from the Harris Co., TX jail, despite being a danger to the community:
"Wilson, a self-described 'crypto-anarchist,' has said 'governments should live in fear of their citizenry.'"
Actually, it's a lunatic like Wilson whom citizens should fear, both for his dangerous gun fetish and likely related sexual perversions.

BOMBSHELL: Rosenstein To Be Fired Today? (UPDATED)

If this truly happens, it will be the most blatant act of obstruction of justice by Agent Orange so far.

We can all thank the click- bait access "journalists" at The New York Effing Times for this one.

UPDATE:  Several news outlets are now reporting any decision will be on hold pending a meeting between Rosenstein and Agent Orange on Thursday.

UPDATE II:  Wouldn't put it past them --

Oxymoron alert:  "Trump's thinking."

Today's Tomorrow Cartoon -- The Injustice Of It All

(click on image to enlarge)

(Tom Tomorrow, via Daily Kos)

Republicans Knew A Week Ago About New Kavanaugh Allegation

From The New Yorker bombshell article by Jane Mayer and Ronan Farrow, this nugget concerning the latest allegation of sexual misconduct by Republican operative- turned- judge Brett Kavanaugh:
... The offices of at least four Democratic senators have received information about the allegation, and at least two have begun investigating it. Senior Republican staffers also learned of the allegation last week and, in conversations with The New Yorker, expressed concern about its potential impact on Kavanaugh’s nomination. Soon after, Senate Republicans issued renewed calls to accelerate the timing of a committee vote(our emphasis)
So those rotted out, desiccated Senate Republicans knew about the second allegation and their response was... speed up the process to confirm Kavanaugh!

"Vote them out. Vote them out."

Sunday, September 23, 2018

BREAKING: At Least Two More Women To Accuse Kavanaugh (UPDATED)

As the Kavanaugh Keystone Kops Koverup team tries to convince us that he kept calendars of his social engagements from 1982, it appears the situation may be about to reach critical mass:

Here's an excerpt from the story:
The woman at the center of the story, Deborah Ramirez, who is fifty-three, attended Yale with Kavanaugh, where she studied sociology and psychology. Later, she spent years working for an organization that supports victims of domestic violence. The New Yorker contacted Ramirez after learning of her possible involvement in an incident involving Kavanaugh. The allegation was conveyed to Democratic senators by a civil-rights lawyer. For Ramirez, the sudden attention has been unwelcome, and prompted difficult choices. She was at first hesitant to speak publicly, partly because her memories contained gaps because she had been drinking at the time of the alleged incident. In her initial conversations with The New Yorker, she was reluctant to characterize Kavanaugh’s role in the alleged incident with certainty. After six days of carefully assessing her memories and consulting with her attorney, Ramirez said that she felt confident enough of her recollections to say that she remembers Kavanaugh had exposed himself at a drunken dormitory party, thrust his penis in her face, and caused her to touch it without her consent as she pushed him away. Ramirez is now calling for the F.B.I. to investigate Kavanaugh’s role in the incident. “I would think an F.B.I. investigation would be warranted,” she said.  (our emphasis)
But wait, there's more:

It's never just a one off with sexual predators;  there's always a pattern of behavior and now we're seeing it emerge.  Keep your popcorn popping.

UPDATE:  The hits just keep on coming.  Another accuser is talking to Montgomery County (MD) police.

Across The Universe, Cont. -- Coma Cluster

(click on image to enlarge)

From NASA/ ESA, September 17, 2018In the northern constellation of Coma Berenices (Berenice's Hair) lies the impressive Coma Cluster — a structure of over a thousand galaxies bound together by gravity. Many of these galaxies are elliptical types, as is the brighter of the two galaxies dominating this image: NGC 4860 (centre). However, the outskirts of the cluster also host younger spiral galaxies that proudly display their swirling arms. Again, this image shows a wonderful example of such a galaxy in the shape of the beautiful NGC 4858, which can be seen to the left of its bright neighbour and which stands out on account of its unusual, tangled, fiery appearance.

NGC 4858 is special. Rather than being a simple spiral, it is something called a “galaxy aggregate”, which is, just as the name suggests, a central galaxy surrounded by a handful of luminous knots of material that seem to stem from it, extending and tearing away and adding to or altering its overall structure. It is also experiencing an extremely high rate of star formation, possibly triggered by an earlier interaction with another galaxy. As we see it, NGC 4858 is forming stars so frantically that it will use up all of its gas long before it reaches the end of its life. The colour of its bright knots indicates that they are formed of hydrogen, which glows in various shades of bright red as it is energised by the many young, hot stars lurking within.

This scene was captured by the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3 (WFC3), a powerful camera designed to explore the evolution of stars and galaxies in the early Universe.

Credit:  ESA/Hubble & NASA

Today's Cartoon Threefer

(click on images to enlarge)

(Jim Morin, Miami Herald)

(Nick Anderson, Washington Post Writers Group)

(Jeff Danziger, The Rutland Herald, VT)