Don’t make up your mind without reading this
We’re learning more about Christine Blasey Ford and her decision to go public with her with allegations against Brett Kavanaugh. In an interview with Julia Prodis Sulek of The Mercury News, her friends say that #MeToo spurred Christine Blasey Ford to open up about alleged attack a year before Kavanaugh nomination. And at HuffPost, Amanda Terkel and Arthur Delaney report that more than 200 women alumnae of Blasey Ford’s high school, Holton-Arms, have signed a letter of support. They note that what she said “is all too consistent with stories we heard and lived while attending Holton. Many of us are survivors ourselves.”
As for the timing of the allegations, Margaret Sullivan of The Washington Post offers this: The claim against Kavanaugh is not a suspicious 11th-hour bombshell. Because we’re not in the 11th hour. Tweets Lisa Fung, “If you’re wondering ‘why now?’ on the story about Christine Blasey Ford and Brett Kavanaugh, read @Sulliview’s column.”
At The Atlantic, Caitlin Flanagan writes, I Believe Christine Blasey Ford, and Tracy Weber says, “This personal story by @CaitlinPacific is exactly the thing to read right now about Kavanaugh and the lasting harm he did to his accuser.” Amanda Katz adds that it’s “Not what I expected from Caitlin Flanagan. A very personal essay that gave me context for some of her other work, too.” “Don’t make up your mind about Kavanaugh without reading this,” says David Brooks.
And then there’s Every man should be worried if Kavanaugh goes down. At least, I'm worried (43,000+ shares), by Alexandra Petri of The Washington Post. “Actually, this @petridishes is so real. Really real. Wow. You should read this @petridishes past the funny parts to the less funny parts,” tweets Rebecca Traister. Batya Ungar-Sargon highlights, “‘There ought to be some kind of punch card — say, if you treat 65 women with the respect and dignity you would accord any man, you are entitled to one freebie.’ @petridishes is a national treasure.” As Petri asks, “What next? I’m supposed to make sure everyone I have sex with is willing?”
Back to the 65 women. Josh Gerstein, Andrew Restuccia and Daniel Lippman of POLITICO report as Trump allies rally to Kavanaugh’s defense, and on Twitter, Lippman points out, “.@AndrewRestuccia and I called many of Kavanaugh’s 65 female HS acquittances who signed a letter supporting him. After his accuser came out on Sunday, only TWO said they still stood by him. More than two dozen didn't respond, and two declined to comment.”
As for the White House’s response, Jim Roberts tweets, “Trump was uncharacteristically restrained when he spoke about Brett Kavanaugh today. Here’s a very good explanation of why some White House aides want to tread carefully ‘before Trump inextricably binds himself to a problematic nominee.’” The team of Robert Costa, Philip Rucker, Ashley Parker and Josh Dawsey at The Washington Post write that With Trump muted, White House leans on Kavanaugh to defend himself. According to what they’ve learned from Trump confidants, the president would be willing to cut Kavanaugh loose if it serves his own self-interest.
Meanwhile, some “Advice from a woman who knows first hand,” as Yaffa Fredrick tweets, for avoiding the mistakes of 1991. In an op-ed for The New York Times, Anita Hill explains How to Get the Kavanaugh Hearings Right. Jodi Kantor calls this one an “Absolute must-read from Anita Hill on how the hearings should proceed. She’s got warnings for both Republicans *and* Democrats.”
Area man abuses power
Of this next story, Julian Sanchez says, “I’m curious to see this—thus far all the releases that were supposed to have exposed malfeasance have been massive own goals—but hoo boy is this a terrible precedent.” That terrible precedent is Trump ordering the declassification of surveillance application, release of Comey texts, as POLITICO’s Kyle Cheney, Josh Gerstein and Darren Samuelsohn report. Matt Ford headlines it this way: “Area Man Abuses Power.” Many are retweeting Ryan Goodman: “Holy cow ‘Neither DOJ nor the FBI has any idea how the redaction process for this announcement is being handled, and they think it’s possible that the White House is just doing it on its own and could release this material as early as Monday night…’”
Meanwhile, Philip Rucker calls this a “Good @maggieNYT & @nytmike look at the state of Trump’s legal team and the president’s troubles.” At The New York Times, Maggie Haberman and Michael Schmidt report that Trump’s Growing Legal Team Has a Problem: It’s Operating Partly in the Dark. Haberman tweets, “Trump’s current team had to spend roughly 20 hours interviewing him this past spring because Dowd never got a complete inventory of his version of events.” Michael de la Merced’s take: “I’m not a lawyer, but this seems like bad lawyering.”
Some excruciating details in this
We’ll preface this next one with Warren Murray’s warning: “Sorry if you had mushrooms for breakfast.” So, what will you find in Stormy Daniels’ tell-all book on Trump? According to Tom McCarthy at The Guardian, salacious detail and claims of cheating, among other things, and just so you can’t say we didn’t warn you twice, here’s another, courtesy of Eric Reguly: “Bottom bits not for the faint of heart.” And a third, from Graham Lanktree, “Some excruciating details in this.” And this might be a fourth one: “Pretty jarring that ‘He knows he has an unusual penis’ is the most humanizing thing I've ever read about Donald Trump,” tweets Thornton McEnery. To sum up, “Stormy Daniels’ long-awaited description of the president’s genitals will be in stores October 2nd,” as Scott Bixby puts it.
Take the whole mess down
In Jian Ghomeshi, John Hockenberry, and the Laws of Patriarchal Physics, Jia Tolentino writes at The New Yorker about “the past week, and how, for every act of sexual assault or harassment, a man apparently deserves an equal and opposite second chance,” as she explains on Twitter. Tweets Caille Millner, “Come through, @jiatolentino: ‘The gravitational pull of male power is turning our attention back to the place where it has been trained to linger: the hero’s journey of men.’” And Naomi Mae Shavin says, “I have read the perfect sentence, and I have wept at its beauty,” referring to “The worst thing about this accursed genre of personal essay—’My Year of Being Held Responsible for My Own Behavior’—may be that it consists, almost necessarily, of terrible writing.”
Meanwhile, “Let @JesseBrown remind us of what the @nybooks editor did not know before running Ghomeshi's ‘Woe is I’ diatribe,” tweets Adela Talbot. At Canadaland, Jesse Brown Fact-Checks Jian Ghomeshi’s Comeback Essay. He tweets, “The piece @JianGhomeshi wrote for @nybooks is riddled with factual inaccuracies, obfuscations and manipulations. If his editor had bothered to Google Ghomeshi before publishing him, here's what he would have learned.” JP Karwacki thinks, “Now would be a good time to walk it all back, @JianGhomeshi & @nybooks. Either apply the correct facts, or just take the whole mess down. You got your clicks.”
Billionaires: They’re just like us
Switching gears, “The interview by text, interesting for all kinds of reasons,” is how Jerry Barca sets this one up. Basically, Marc Benioff explained to David Streitfeld of The New York Times Why He Is Buying Time Magazine. Specifically, “While having a massage late Sunday, the West Coast-based tech billionaire discussed via text message why he was entering the East Coast-based media industry by acquiring Time Inc.’s flagship publication.” Christopher Mims highlights, “‘I didn’t realize two weeks ago I was going to buy Time.’ Billionaires: They're just like us!?” As Kevin Roose says, “I need to start texting tech billionaires on the weekends,” although Kara Swisher tweets, “Hey @Benioff when we talk later, try to be standing up and not so much with the cucumber eye treatment. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
Canons are good
As Boris Kachka explains, “A new era of @NYMag books coverage begins today, with this very serious and very silly project.” That’s A Premature Attempt at the 21st Century Literary Canon, in which a panel of critics tells Vulture’s editors what belongs on a list of the 100 most important books of the 2000s…so far. And “Canons are good,” as Ben Williams points out. Also, we’re with Dana Schwartz, who tweets, “Is there a german word for the panic upon realizing how many books there are out there that you haven't read yet?” Either way, Jeff Wilser reminds us that this is “One of Those Rare Unequivocally Good Things on The Internet.” Even if everyone’s going to tweet in their complaints about what’s missing and what shouldn’t be there.
Trump is going to cap refugees allowed into U.S. at 30,000, a record low, reports Julie Hirschfeld Davis of The New York Times. “For context, Obama raised the limit to 110k before leaving office,” notes Caitlin Dickerson.
“In May, @pamelacolloff detailed how bogus forensic science had kept a beloved high school principal imprisoned for murder for 33 years. Yesterday the blood spatter expert said he was ‘wrong.’ Read this, and links, stories, and demand better,” tweets Tracy Weber, who links to Blood-Spatter Expert in Joe Bryan Case Says “My Conclusions Were Wrong,” by Pamela Colloff of ProPublica.
An investigation by CNN’s Nima Elbagir, Salma Abdelaziz, and Laura Smith-Spark finds shrapnel in Yemen ties US bombs to civilian deaths. Tweets Trita Parsi. “Independent human rights group gives CNN documents that show fragments of US bombs at several incidents in Yemen since 2015. In each of those cases, civilians were either killed or put at risk. US can easily end the Yemeni genocide if it wants to.”
Trevor Timm of the Freedom of the Press Foundation got ahold of the Justice Dept's secret rules for targeting journalists with FISA court orders.
Michael Bender of The Wall Street Journal has the details as the Probe of FEMA Chief Brock Long is Referred to Prosecutors.
In Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump’s Battering Ram, Paige Williams of The New Yorker attempts to find out what the press secretary believes in—other than defending the President’s every word. Tweets Sam Haselby, “9,000 words on Sarah Huckabee Sanders. He's taking us all down with him.”
“If you want to understand why right wing US money poured into the nexus of dodgy think tanks around Brexit - look no further. A fire sale of social and environmental protections.” Peter Jukes links to the piece by Felicity Lawrence, David Pegg and Rob Evans of The Guardian, Rightwing thinktanks unveil radical plan for US-UK Brexit trade deal.
The New York Times has your Best and Worst Moments of the 2018 Emmys, which Jeremy Egner sums up thusly: “Teddy Perkins, Hannah Gadsby and a proposal enlivened an otherwise pretty clunky #EmmyAwards2018.”