The Barrett Rule: How Democratic Members Are Creating A New and Dangerous Standard For Confirmations

Below is my column in USA Today on the troubling course taken by Democratic members in the confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. As I have stated, there are a host of legitimate questions to be raised over Judge Barrett’s view of the law. Indeed, I praised the exchanges between Sen. Dick Durbin (D., IL.) and Judge Barrett as the substantive highlight of the hearing. Unfortunately, those were the exceptions. Instead, the thrust of the entire hearing was that Barrett was unqualified due to her expected vote in the upcoming case on the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Various senators directly stated that they would vote against Barrett to protect the ACA. That is what is so unnerving about the Barrett confirmation hearing.

Here is the column:

The confirmation hearing of Judge Amy Coney Barrett could easily have been mistaken for the sentencing hearing for John Wayne Gacy. Surrounding Barrett were huge pictures of sick individuals. One would think that Barrett was being confronted with the faces of her victims. In reality, the pictures perfectly captured a far more important message. Senators had finally broken free from any pretense of principle in reviewing the qualifications of a nominee. Indeed, many are about to create a new rule, the Barrett Rule, allowing conditional confirmation voting. The pictures were meant to pressure Barrett to either satisfy senators that she would vote against an Affordable Care Act challenge or they would vote against her confirmation.

There has long been a debate over the legitimate grounds for opposing a Supreme Court nominee. While senators can vote under the Constitution for good, bad or no reason at all, most have sought to justify their votes on some principled basis. For most of our history, senators followed the rule that disagreement with a nominee’s jurisprudential views was not a basis to vote against their confirmation. A president was viewed as constitutionally entitled to appoint jurists reflecting their own legal viewpoint and the primary basis for voting against a nominee was on the lack of qualifications or some disqualifying personal or professional controversy. It was a rule of senatorial deference that controlled the majority of nominations in our history.

Voting against nominees based on their expected votes

Members began to chafe at the limitations of this principle in the second half of the twentieth century. With abortion, desegregation and other hot button issues, confirmations became politics by another means. With every year, senators became more open about voting against nominees solely on the basis for their expected votes. This trend was accelerated in October 1987 in the confirmation hearing of Judge Robert Bork presided over by a senator from Delaware named Joe Biden. Bork was labeled “outside of the mainstream” of legal thought and rejected in a process that is now called “Borking.”

Democratic members have struggled with changing rationales for voting against Barrett, who has impeccable credentials as an accomplished academic and respected jurist. One such implausible claim was made the day before the hearing by Sen. Chris Coons (D., Del.)  on Fox News Sunday. He claimed the nomination “constitutes court packing.” Both Biden and his running mate Sen. Kamala Harris (D., Cal.) have referred to nominating conservatives as court packing. Biden and others have refused to tell voters whether they will move to pack the Supreme Court if the Democrats retake both the Senate and the White House (a proposal once denounced by Ruth Bader Ginsburg herself). Instead of answering, Coons and others insist that Barrett’s nomination is court packing — a position that would allow them to vote against her without the need to consider her actual qualifications.

The portrayal of the Barrett nomination as court packing is facially absurd. Court packing is the expansion of the Court to create a dominant ideological majority. Referring to such a proposal by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, then Sen. Joe Biden once denounced it as “a bonehead idea . . . a terrible, terrible mistake” in seeking to add seats to the Court just to create a majority. Filling a vacancy on the Supreme Court is not court packing under any remotely plausible definition. Otherwise, anytime you disagree with the choices of a president, it would be court packing despite leaving the court the same size.

With little traction on the packing pitch, Senators were left with a rare moment of clarity. Indeed, Sen. Cory Booker (D., NJ) captured it best when, without waiting to hear from Barrett, Booker announced that he would vote against her. The reason was that she might vote against the ACA. The clear suggestion is that, after an election, the Democrats hoped to nominate someone who would clearly support the ACA. The issue was simply her expected vote on Nov. 10 in the case of California v. Texas.

Barrett and the ACA

We have now reached the Rubicon of confirmation politics. Thirty-three years after the Bork hearing, senators are now stripping away any pretense or nuance: they will oppose Barrett because of her expected votes on cases. In particular, Democrats have been arguing that they will vote against Barrett to prevent her from voting on a pending case, California v. Texas, dealing with the constitutionality of the ACA. Sen. Mazie K. Hirono (D., HI) announced recently that she would vote against Barrett because “she will vote to strike down the Affordable Care Act.”

In reality, the ACA case is unlikely to be struck down. The Court may uphold the lower court in declaring the individual mandate of the original ACA to be unconstitutional, but the real issue is whether that provision can be “severed” from the rest of the statute. Most legal experts believe that the Court has a clear majority favoring severance and preserving the rest of the act. The law was originally saved by Chief Justice John Roberts who felt that the individual mandate was constitutional. Congress later nullified the mandate.

The question before the Court is whether the rest of the act can be “severed” from the now defunct mandate — a question that cuts across the Court’s ideological divisions. Indeed, conservatives like Roberts and Brett Kavanaugh are expected to uphold the rest of the law. Thus, despite the pictures in the hearing, the picture for the ACA looks solid even with a Justice Barrett on the Court. Indeed, no one knows how Barrett would vote on the issue of severability.

The more important decision in the hearing is that some Senators are now invoking the right to vote against a nominee on the basis of her expected vote on this pending case. It will be a uniquely ironic moment since it was Ginsburg who refused to answer questions on pending or expected cases as improper and unethical inquiries by the Senate. It became known as the “Ginsburg Rule.” We may now have the Barrett Rule where a nomination can be rejected without such assurances.

The Barrett Rule would allow not only for the packing of a Court but the packing of the Court with guaranteed ideological drones. It is court packing without any pretense. Like our current politics, it would finally strip away any nuance or nicety. The court, like Congress, would become subject to raw and brutal politics at its very worst.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University and a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors. Follow him on Twitter: @JonathanTurley

499 thoughts on “The Barrett Rule: How Democratic Members Are Creating A New and Dangerous Standard For Confirmations”

  1. Timeline Charting Shokin’s Removal As Ukrainian Prosecutor General

    IMF Wanted Shokin Out.. Cash And Diamonds Scandal

    The international effort to remove Shokin, who became prosecutor general in February 2015, began months before Biden stepped into the spotlight, said Mike Carpenter, who served as a foreign policy adviser to Biden and a deputy assistant secretary of defense, with a focus on Ukraine, Russia, Eurasia, the Balkans, and conventional arms control.

    As European and U.S. officials pressed Ukraine to clean up Ukraine’s corruption, they focused on Shokin’s leadership of the Prosecutor General’s Office.

    “Shokin played the role of protecting the vested interest in the Ukrainian system,” said Carpenter, who traveled with Biden to Ukraine in 2015. “He never went after any corrupt individuals at all, never prosecuted any high-profile cases of corruption.”

    That demonstrated that Poroshenko’s administration was not sincere about tackling corruption and building strong, independent law enforcement agencies, said Heather Conley, director of the Europe program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington-based foreign policy think tank.

    In July 2015, Shokin’s office became mired in scandal after authorities raided homes belonging to two high-ranking prosecutors. Police seized millions of dollars worth of diamonds and cash, suggesting the pair had been taking bribes.

    It became known as the “diamond prosecutors” case. Deputy General Prosecutor Vitaliy Kasko, who said he tried to investigate it, resigned months later, calling the prosecutor’s office a “hotbed of corruption” and an “instrument of political pressure.”

    Shokin’s office also stepped in to help Zlochevsky, the head of Burisma.

    British authorities had frozen $23 million in a money-laundering probe, but Shokin’s office failed to send documents British authorities needed to prosecute Zlochevsky. The case eventually unraveled and the assets were unfrozen.

    In October 2015, Ukrainians staged a protest outside Poroshenko’s home calling for Shokin’s removal.

    During a September 2015 speech at a financial forum in Odessa, U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt decried the inability of Shokin’s office to root out corruption.

    “Rather than supporting Ukraine’s reforms and working to root out corruption,” Pyatt said, “corrupt actors within the Prosecutor General’s Office are making things worse by openly and aggressively undermining reform.”

    In October 2015, then-Assistant Secretary of State Victoria Nuland told the Senate Foreign Relations committee the Prosecutor General’s Office must lock up “dirty personnel” in its own office.

    In December 2015, Biden railed against the “cancer of corruption” in a speech before the country’s parliament and called out Shokin’s office.

    Besides Biden’s threat over the $1 billion in aid, the International Monetary Fund threatened to delay $40 billion in aid for similar reasons.

    Shokin was eventually removed from his position in the spring of 2016.

    The decision to remove Shokin “creates an opportunity to make a fresh start in the Prosecutor General’s Office,” said Jan Tombinski, the EU’s ambassador to Ukraine, in a written statement.

    “I hope,” Tombinski said, “that the new Prosecutor General will ensure that the Office of the Prosecutor General becomes independent from political influence and pressure and enjoys public trust.”

    Edited From: Explainer: Biden, Allies Pushed Out Ukrainian Prosecutor Because He Didn’t Pursue Corruption Cases”

    USA Today, 10/3/19

        1. The information is in the public domain and easily accessible at the NY Post over more than one day.

          The other video has been posted numerous times and easily searchable. Biden tells Ukrainians to fire Shokin. A video exists and you know it. You are trying to be cute but you are just Stupid and Pathetic.

          You lack credibility so you need to provide a source.

  2. China’s “soft” conquest.

    Harris-Biden-Obama will oversee the subsumption of America by Communist China, aka the Global Deep Deep State.

    To wit,

    “Daryl Morey Resigning as Houston Rockets GM … 1 Year After China Drama”

    Daryl Morey is leaving his position as general manager of the Houston Rockets … roughly 1 year after he created an international incident with a pro-Hong Kong tweet.

    48-year-old Morey was NOT fired, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski — but rather it was Daryl who approached Rockets’ owner, Tilman Fertitta, and initiated the conversation to step down.

    Morey has been the GM for the past 13 seasons — and wanted to explore other professional options for himself while spending more time with his family … according to Woj.

    Morey was successful during his run with the team — the Rockets have made the playoffs 8 years in the row, the longest streak among NBA teams.

    But he’s most well-known for the China incident — on Oct. 4, 2019 he tweeted out support for Hong Kong, which REALLY pissed off China.

    The tweet read, “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong,” with a pic of pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong in October.

    The Tweet created a ton of backlash in China … with massive Chinese e-commerce site Taobao yanking all Rockets merchandise and CCTV pulling NBA games from broadcast.

    It was just last week that China allowed CCTV to air NBA games again — after a massive relationship rebuilding campaign led by NBA commish Adam Silver.

    – TMZ Sports

  3. Facebook cites content policy to hide Biden bombshell, as Biden campaign admits it might be true
    Company cites “signals” of false information in Biden expose, but hasn’t said what they are.

    Sen. Cotton: ‘Big tech oligarchs declaring war’ on Trump, GOP by censoring Hunter Biden reports
    Congressman Banks cited a line from an email in the Hunter Biden reports that mentions the ‘big guy’ getting an equity share in a Chinese business deal: ‘We want to know today, is Joe Biden the big guy?’


    Is Joe Biden known as the ‘big guy’ or the ‘chairman’? The Biden Family crime team through influence peddling and other heinous acts makes money and like the Mafia one portion always goes to the ‘big guy’. Joe Biden is a crook.

      1. That is how the NYTimes attempted to spin the Victor Shokin story back in March of 2016.

        Apparently you have failed to notice that Hunter “The Blowfeld” Biden stupidly left his laptop at a repair shop and never returned to get it back.

        Cocaine is a helluva drug.

        1. Apparently you have failed to notice that there’s no evidence that it was Biden’s laptop.

          You must be the one who’s snorting what you name.

          1. Anonymous the Stupid, everyone but you knows Hunter Biden did cocaine. That is even documented in the videos off Hunter’s computer.

            What an insulting person Anonymous the Stupid is.

              1. With all of the anonymous’ floating around mostly your pretend anonymous friends its difficult for you to prove what you said or didn’t say.

                The laptop being left and forgotten about makes sense because Hunter was taking cocaine. That can explain all the stupidity of Hunter including how he handled himself the videos and everything else.

                Whose laptop do you think it was?

          2. “failed to notice that there’s no evidence that it was Biden’s laptop”

            It was someone else’s laptop with photos and videos of Hunter smoking crack and having sex?!

            In addition, there is no doubt whatsoever that Giuliani as a lifelong prosecutor had forensics done on the laptop to verify that it belonged to Blowfeld Biden.

            You truly are the essence of lameness.

            1. It’s possible that Russia hacked his iCloud account, downloaded some of his photos and video, and mixed it with disinformation on a laptop that isn’t his.

              Lol that you have no doubts about Giuliani.

          1. You and “stupid” go together like peas and carrots, Anon.

            Which is why owning you is akin to taking candy from a spoiled little toddler.

      2. You do know that two things can be true at the same time, right. Shokin is prosecuting corruption and the EU or our NATO allies wanted Shokin gone. Add a third; Biden wanted Shokin gone as well. Our NATO allies also didn’t want to pay any more of their GDP into the alliance than they did. They are paying more and Trump was right about that as well.

            1. Yes.

              Here’s a 2015 speech from the US Ambassador to Ukraine:
              “We have learned that there have been times that the PGO not only did not support investigations into corruption, but rather undermined prosecutors working on legitimate corruption cases. For example, in the case of former Ecology Minister Mykola Zlochevsky, the U.K. authorities had seized $23 million in illicit assets that belonged to the Ukrainian people. Officials at the PGO’s office were asked by the U.K. to send documents supporting the seizure. Instead they sent letters to Zlochevsky’s attorneys attesting that there was no case against him. As a result the money was freed by the U.K. court and shortly thereafter the money was moved to Cyprus. The misconduct by the PGO officials who wrote those letters should be investigated, and those responsible for subverting the case by authorizing those letters should—at a minimum—be summarily terminated.”

              PGO = prosecutor general’s office, Shokin was the PG
              Zlochevsky = the oligarch who ran Burisma

              The EU and US wanted Shokin ousted because he wasn’t prosecuting corruption, including at Burisma.

              1. One has to be careful about what they say about our Ambassador to the Ukraine because her public statements did not match her testimony and further information demonstrated that she wasn’t totally truthful when she testified.

                1. Paying attention to details isn’t your forte, Allan.
                  Notice who the Ambassador to Ukraine was in 2015. His name is even in the link.

                  1. Paying attention to the Biden corruption doesn’t seem to be your forte Anonymous. She was Ambassador when so called sh1t hit the fan. She is extremely pertinent to the discussion.

                2. Allan wrote, about Marie Yovanovitch:

                  “her public statements did not match her testimony”

                  Which “public statements did not match her testimony”?

                  “…she wasn’t totally truthful when she testified.”

                  Please tell us what she said that wasn’t “truthful.” Please clarify.

                  1. This was all discussed during the Ukraine hoax. That you didn’t understand it then and that you don’t remember it now is not surprising. Your memory is like a sieve. You doubted my memory of your support of the Steele Dossier and to this day you might still believe it.

                    1. So Allan is unable to back up his statements about Marie Yovanovitch. I’m not surprised.

                      (I have no idea what you’re talking about with regard to the Steele Dossier, Allan. I have never stated my “support.” You’re dreaming.)

                    2. No need to. Didn’t your teacher tell you that if you didn’t listen in class he wouldn’t repeat what he said? You probably flunked out.

                    3. Allan doesn’t have the answers. If he could support his claims, he would, but he can’t.

                    4. “Allan doesn’t have the answers. If he could support his claims, he would, but he can’t.”

                      We have the public statements of the ambassador and her conflicting statements under oath. We also have a lot of third party statements that contradict her public statements along with statements demonstrating that she omitted things from her testimony.

                      All those things have been written about and much has been copied onto the blog.

                      You play a game of not responding when the items are placed in the blog or denying them. Later you ask for proof and will continue the same game forever. You are not credible.

                  2. Anon. @ 7:14 PM:
                    This is typical behavior for Allan. He makes claims, but he doesn’t back them up with evidence. Instead, he claims that evidence was presented some time ago or in some other place, and people should already know about it, but he can’t be bothered to link to it. He may combine that with pretending that if you don’t know, it much be because you didn’t understand or have a bad memory or just aren’t being honest, when he should just own up to the fact that he can’t back up his own claim.

                    1. We have the public statements of the ambassador and her conflicting statements under oath. We also have a lot of third party statements that contradict her public statements along with statements demonstrating that she omitted things from her testimony.

                      All those things have been written about and much has been copied onto the blog.

                      You play a game of not responding when the items are placed in the blog or denying them. Later you ask for proof and will continue the same game forever. You are not credible.

          1. Numerous reports and investigations say otherwise. The weight of the evidence at the present time points to the fact that Joe Biden involved himself in the internal affairs of another country and told them to fire the prosecutor. He didn’t ask for an end to corruption which might be appropriate when dealing with US dollars rather he told them how they had to do it and to fire one man that was said to have been investigating Burisma. There is evidence he was and evidence that others against him were corrupt. That puts a spotlight on a cover up and on Joe Biden.

      3. “All our NATO allies wanted Shokin gone.”

        PaintChips, that isn’t true and the NYT article doesn’t say that. You lied as usual. In fact a bunch of countries know Shokin’s firing was wrong and have said so. They even know Joe Biden is a Crook.

        “Former Polish President: Burisma Hired Hunter Biden for His Last Name

        The former president of Poland has confessed that Burisma Holdings hired Hunter Biden (shown) for one reason: He is former Vice President Joe Biden’s son.

        This has been known for years but only recently has it been revealed to be as bad as it is.”

        1. Hunter Biden apparently agrees:

          In the interview, however, he admitted he probably would not have been offered the job at Burisma Holdings, a natural gas company in Ukraine, if his last name wasn’t Biden.

          “I don’t know. I don’t know, probably not,” he said. “You know, I don’t think there’s a lot of things that would have happened in my life if my last name wasn’t Biden.”

        2. Consider the source:

          “The New American (TNA) is a politically right-wing print and digital magazine published twice a month by American Opinion Publishing Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of the John Birch Society (JBS), a far-right organization.[2][3][4][5][6] The magazine was created in 1985 from the merger of two JBS magazines: American Opinion and The Review of the News.” -Wikipedia

          1. Your NYT article didn’t even verify what I quoted of yours. You lied in your quote.

            What you say is untrue. Certain people in a few NATO countries wanted Shokin out. There was at least one of them on the board of Burisma. It’s hard to get solid numbers but my bet is the vast majority of NATO countries believe Shokin was removed because of Biden’s involvement and enrichment of his family.

        3. Which doesn’t contradict that the EU and US wanted Shokin gone because he wasn’t prosecuting oligarchs, including at Burisma.

          1. That he “wasn’t prosecuting” is not something we are supposed to determine unless we are intimately involved in Burisma. We know Hunter was involved and his only concern would be if Shokin was prosecuting.

    1. Glenn Greenwald:

      “Facebook and Twitter Cross a Line Far More Dangerous Than What They Censor”


      Update: Oct. 16, 2020, 6:18 a.m. ET

      Late Thursday evening, Twitter announced changes to its ”Hacked Materials Policy” designed to address concerns that its policy as stated — and as applied to the Post articles — would result in the banning of crucial reporting based on hacked materials or other “unauthorized” disclosures. Explained by Vijaya Gadde, a top Twitter executive, the new rules now provide that Twitter’s policy applies not to articles by news outlets reporting on hacked materials but only in those cases when the hacked material “is directly shared by hackers or those acting in concert with them.” Additionally, going forward, Twitter “will label Tweets to provide context instead of blocking links from being shared.” Gadde said specifically that the changes are intended “to address the concerns that there could be many unintended consequences to journalists, whistleblowers and others in ways that are contrary to Twitter’s purpose of serving the public conversation.”

      There are still serious concerns about what Twitter did in this particular case and how these rules will be applied to future cases, but these changes are a commendably responsive effort to minimize the dangers of this policy and alleviate the concerns raised by journalists and transparency advocates. -Update to article, Glenn Greenwald

  4. Jonathan: Your take away from the Barrett hearings is that Senate Democrats tried to impose the “Barrett rule”, that unless Judge Barrett committed to upholding the ACA they will vote against her. No doubt Barrett will do just that if confirmed based on her religious views and because Trump made abolishing the ACA his litmus test for nominating her. Noteworthy is the fact that neither Trump nor Republicans have put forward any plan to replace the ACA. They have had plenty of time. But Trump wants to get rid of the ACA only because it is Obama’s legacy. This is why Democratic senators tried to impress upon Barrett with photographs showing that millions of Americans will lose health care if the ACA is struck down. Those with serious medical conditions will be particularly hard hit. This was lost on Republican Senators and apparently you too. This is particularly troubling at a time when we are facing a second Covid-19 wave, infections and deaths from the coronavirus are increasing and without the ACA millions will face astronomical hospital bills. In other Western democracies and under Article 25 of the UN charter health care is considered a fundamental human right. Not so in the U.S. where health care has been viewed as a privilege for those who can afford it. We are the outlier. But given the opportunity Barrett will use Scalia’s “originalist” interpretation of the Constitution to argue that since the framers didn’t address health care in the founding documents no one is entitled to have it in the 21st century.

    What was also remarkable about the hearings was that Barrett said she had no “firm views” on climate change. That’s hard to believe. Everyone has a view on the subject. Donald Trump has “firm views” on climate change. He denies the science and has withdrawn from the Paris Climate Agreement and rolled back Obama era regulations on carbon emissions. Under questioning from Senator Harris, Barrett said climate change caused by human activity is a “contentious matter of public debate”. Barret may share Trump’s views but most Americans disagree, 80% of Americans agree with the consensus of climate scientists that human induced climate change is an existential threat and believe action is urgently needed to address its worst effects. So Barret is also an outlier when it comes to climate change. No doubt the Republican Senate will confirm Barrett’s nomination and she will go on the Court to vote to strike down the ACA and Biden initiatives on health care, climate change, voting rights and many other issues important to the American people. That was the whole point of her nomination.

    1. That is why Joe Biden and his family have been enriching themselves in China, the Ukraine, Russia etc. Joe is now not denying his meeting. $3.4 Million from the Moscow Mayors wife.

        1. You can’t see the comparison. When stalking about bad faith one should look at Joe Biden who has sold America down the drain. That is bad faith, but I understand whey Anonymous the Stupid has problems relating the two.

  5. The irony of Turley putting up “democratic members are creating a new and dangerous standard for confirmations” when Moscow Mitch and the republican party has broken any semblance of fair and honest advise and consent from the republican Senate is just to much.

  6. “Diaper Man, that’s the heart of Beverly Hills. Which is why Trump owned a house there. But you’re stupid enough to let Absurd warp the discussion.”

    PaintChips, what does Trump owning a house there have to do with your frequent trips between the Mark Twain bathrooms and the nail salon?

      1. You are a wimp and you know it. Always blaming someone else. Can you mention a time the moderator stepped in on my behalf. No. When my posts were lost, did he step in? No. You are paranoid.

  7. They have the votes needed to confirm Barrett.

    So it’s all over but the cryin’.

    Which is the one thing the PTS/TDS Buttercups are very good at doing.

    1. Rhodes:

      Exactly right. People who watched this for drama are like football fans watching reruns of Super Bowl III and hoping for a Colts victory. Sorry, but Joe Willie always wins.

  8. It is more fundamental than that. Barrett like Kavanaugh are both Catholic. The Catholic Church opposes abortion therefore Catholics are unfit to be appointed to the Supreme Court and any vile attack is justified. Even asking Barrett if she had sexually assaulted anyone.
    We now have from democrats a religious litmus test.

    1. The Catholic Church opposes abortion therefore Catholics are unfit to be appointed to the Supreme Court and any vile attack is justified.

      We do offer Exorcisms though at a decent rate, so you might consider that. But alas there is a wait list. San Francisco Archbishop has been doing exorcisms at a brisk pace recently. ANTIFA BLM Anarchists have been destroying Catholic images and spaces. Perhaps you are them?

      Archbishop Cordileone plans exorcism at church where Serra statue was toppled

      Happily there is an app available so you could consider getting an Exorcism through that. Not affiliated with the Roman Catholic Church ‘tho. Keep us posted


    2. That’s right Tony, and the reason why Obama didn’t appoint Sotomayor and Democrats wouldn’t vote for Biden.

  9. The larger issue is the push on the left for a partisan, subservient, judiciary. It’s absolutely terrifying and they just can’t see it and they won’t see it until they become the victims of their own policies.

  10. “The more important decision in the hearing is that some Senators are now invoking the right to vote against a nominee on the basis of her expected vote … The court, like Congress, would become subject to raw and brutal politics at its very worst.”

    I don’t see anything wrong with that, and I’m surprised by your comments. This has been brutally clear since the Republican Senate majority refused to even give Judge Garland a hearing. They explicitly refused to criticize him personally or professionally. Certainly, you don’t buy the pretense they refused him a hearing because it was an election year. They expected him to “vote”, as you put it, a certain way.

    Likewise, it is brutally clear with respect to the Barrett hearing. The Republicans are pushing it through because they expect her to “vote” a certain way.

    Yeah, sure Justices write opinions so their “votes” can be rationalized. But you put it exactly right, they are “votes”, and there is no reason why we should have it any other way.

  11. The 2020 presidential election has been irredeemably corrupted through the failure to hold the election on the one and only designated Tuesday, for imposing the total loss of control of the security of the vote through vote-by-mail, and through massive disruption and censorship of the presentation of election material by principal parties to the election on social media platforms.

    The 2020 election must be expunged, abrogated and conducted a second time with fair, equal and uncensored access to all media platforms.

    1. Voting should be like jury duty. You have to show up in person unless you have extenuating circumstances that prohibit you from doing so.

  12. How could anyone ask a nominee, for the Supreme Court Judgeship or for any job really, as to how he or she would vote in the future on any issue?? .. That is not a proper question. No one could know as to what would be the “context of tomorrow”. A Judge has to decide the issues based upon the “evidence presented, the context, and the law” for the same… Isn’t it?? .. When one has to appoint a person for a job then it must be done based on the past “track record”. For, the past can be examined for its facts, context and the law. .. How could anyone examine the future?? .. Do they have a crystal ball?? .. All pretty absurd really.

    1. Chintamani-Chanakya is our usual troll using yet another name. Here he has someone’s photo boxed. That creative touch should make us see this ‘commenter’ as more ‘real’ then one lacking a photo.

      1. “Chintamani-Chanakya is our usual troll using yet another name. Here he has someone’s photo boxed. That creative touch should make us see this ‘commenter’ as more ‘real’ then [sic] one lacking a photo.”

        Please stop. Please. When you’re banned — and you should be, if you keep this up — don’t whine or complain — because you’ll only have yourself to blame.

  13. Barrett Won’t Say If Married Couples Have A Right To Contraception

    Sometimes what a nominee won’t say is as telling as what she does. Thus Barrett was willing to pronounce that both Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark school desegregation case, and Loving v. Virginia, which declared anti-miscegenation laws unconstitutional, had been correctly decided. But when it came to a precedent even older than Loving, the 1965 case of Griswold v. Connecticut, Barrett balked.

    The court in Griswold found that a constitutional right to privacy protected the right of married couples to obtain contraception. Barrett argued that her view on this case didn’t matter — “an academic question that wouldn’t arise” — because no state in the modern era would consider criminalizing contraception.

    But then she contended just the opposite: that she couldn’t offer her view on Griswold because it was anything but academic. “I think the only reason that it’s even worth asking that question is to lay a predicate for whether Roe was rightly decided. Because Griswold does lie at the foundation of that line of precedent,” Barrett told Sen. Christopher A. Coons (D-Del.). “So because Griswold involved substantive due process, an area that remains one subject to litigation all over the country, I don’t think it’s . . . a case that I can opine on.”

    Actually, it is: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr., and Justices Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. — among others — all commented on privacy and Griswold in their confirmation hearings. Roberts, in 2005, said, “I agree with the Griswold court’s conclusion that marital privacy extends to contraception.” President Trump’s two previous nominees, Gorsuch and Kavanaugh, largely ducked the question.

    Barrett’s studied silence offers yet another indication that she sees no protection for abortion rights in the Constitution. If she’s willing to say that Loving was correct, what’s the significance of her refusal to say the same about the same-sex marriage case, Obergefell v. Hodges? Again, it’s not hard to guess.

    Edited From: “Barrett’s Hearings Were A Frustrating Charade. But They Were Still Chilling”

    Today’s Washington Post

    Griswold v. Connecticut ruled that the Constitution protects the liberty of a married couple to buy and use contraceptives without government restriction. Said ruling struck down a Connecticut law that prohibited any person from using “any drug, medicinal article or instrument for the purpose of preventing conception”.

    One has to seriously ask why that ruling was so ‘controversial’ that Barrett couldn’t say if it was correct. Would Barrett have us return to the days when contraceptives could be prohibited?? Do we want Catholics or Evangelicals lobbying for bans on contraceptives?

    Barrett famously belongs to an off-shoot of the Catholic church where she actually held the title of ‘Handmaid’ until a best-selling book make that title uncool. Republicans howled with outrage when mainstream media examined Barrett’s church. Yet her inability to answer questions concerning Griswold possibly signals that her Handmaid point of view might influence opinions.

    1. “Development of the embryo begins at Stage 1 when a sperm fertilizes an oocyte and together they form a zygote.”

      – Marjorie England

      Barring terminal intervention as abortion, the zygote will develop into a human being and, therefore, IS a very young human being.

      Thou Shalt Not Kill

      1. Often the zygote fails to develop properly and spontaneously aborts. When this occurs later in a pregnancy to an embryo it is called a still-birth.

  14. Hahaha!

    Mercedes Schlapp, a Trump Campaign advisor said “Well @JoeBiden @ABCPolitics townhall feels like I am watching an episode of Mister Rodgers Neighborhood,” as if that’s an insult.

    Who doesn’t like Mr. Rogers?

      1. Mr. Rogers is unfortunately no longer with us, but would have been a much better president than Trump has been. Rogers’ wife has endorsed Biden and called Trump out as “mentally ill” and a “horrible person” who “seldom tells the truth.”

        1. Is Mrs. Rogers competent to tell if a person is mentally ill at long distance? And how does she know Trump is a “horrible person” who “seldom tells the truth”? Does she only watch CNN?

        2. Mr. Rogers is unfortunately no longer with us, but would have been a much better president than Trump has been.

          Looking at the production schedule of Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, it would appear the man went into semi-retirement around about 1975. Maybe he was devoting all his time to the speaking circuit. Most of the books which appear under his name appear to have been cobbled together by his wife from fragments of his writing.

          Shortly after his death, a documentary was produced of his life and work, which incorporated a mess of old footage of interviews of him. We saw it in our house some years later. The umpteenth time he says of some retainer or consultant, “He is one of the most sensitive…” you realize that at the end of his life Fred Rogers was a caricature of Fred Rogers, a reality at which most of us arrive. Except that in his case, he may have been caricature from stem to stern. He was a pleasant and well-intentioned person, but his whole ethic was ‘let’s listen and be nice’. There is nothing wrong with listening and being pleasant and forbearing. It’s just rather … incomplete as an ethic of living. It’s also deficient in making sense of the world in which we live.

          In 1978, George Carlin put together a comedy routine making brutal fun of him, which had one of his neighbors appearing at his home to chew him out and tell him “I gotta petition here. 18 names. want you Out of the neighborhood”. And then accused him of being a child molester. We had a cassette of this that we would play at school and we laughed and laughed and recited the dialogue ourselves, complete with accents. A decade earlier, we’d seen the program when it first hit public television. We were in the very oldest cohorts in the target demographic for it. He was the same age as my father, but he seemed so unlike my father, and not in a way I found inviting. (My sister enjoyed some of the puppet shows, but found Rogers himself kinda creepy).

          The world doesn’t benefit from a superabundance of ‘sensitive’ men. It benefits from an abundance of men whose callousness induces them to guide and instruct the young in salutary ways. Few men are like Fred Rogers. Few have it in them to be Fred Rogers. Few would ever want to be that guy. And only an odd minority of women would want Fred Rogers as the man of the house. The rhythms of his life were atypical for his cohort. He had no time in the military.. He was married for eight years before he had any children. He and his wife kept it to two kids (born when she was 32 and 34) when 3 or 4 were the norm among their contemporaries. For some puzzling reason, with all the state schools available in Pennsylvania and with all the swank colleges he could afford, his son was sent to the same unprepossessing private college in Florida he’d attended (he admitted around about 1980 that he and his older son were estranged). His sons by middle age had produced two children between them. Rogers younger son has had his problems in living (

          Somthing…off about the guy.

    1. Mr. Rogers fits your maturity level perfectly, Anon.

      So I can see why you still watch his reruns.

      Don’t stop!

        1. Not everyone has to rely on loads of anonymous names. Some people maintain their integrity while others wallow in the dirt.

        2. Says the troll who constantly trolls any poster who isn’t in lockstep with his sophomoric PTS addled worldview.

          Have you ever been gainfully employed?

  15. Heard the Dumpster went to Crazy Town again tonight, too big a pussy to own the conspiracy nonsense he tweets, but insisting there might be something to them, then lying about Covid cures and masks.

    This is who some of you want 4 more years of? He’s done. Put a harpoon in him.

    1. Without hesitation, yes, four more years of Trump. Trump is a fighter. Biden is a snoozefest of lies and corruption. He hasn’t earned a single vote and he’s too dam old for the job.

      Joe Biden had an ice cream social tonight with former Clinton operative, George Stephanopolous, who didn’t ask one question about the major story in the headlines today about crackhead Hunter Biden raking in millions selling access to his father, the Vice President of the United States.

      Oh and Biden got to speak for 5 or 10 minutes without interruption or correction by Stephanopolous as Biden told lie after lie…and none of them were corrected or questioned.

      The Boilermakers Biden claims are overwhelmingly supporting him actually endorsed President Trump last month.

      Biden said he will “go back to being a professor” at the University of Pennsylvania when he loses and be “back teaching.” Biden never taught a single class at UPenn.

      And there were many other lies not pushed back on or corrected. Per usual. Biden’s entire campaign is based on lies. All of his ads are full of lies. Biden was a plagiarizer in law school, plagiarized his speeches, and now? He is still lying…once a liar always a liar….it is the very foundation of his campaign. Unbelievable he has yet to be called on it by the MSM.

      Make no mistake, Biden could not handle the kind of incoming Donald Trump takes daily from a hostile media. On the rare occasions Biden has been asked the tough questions, he absolutely loses it and calls voters names, tells them they are “dam liars” challenges them to fights or pushups, and he tells interviewers they don’t know what they are talking about and he loses control. Biden absolutely could not handle being pressed on literally anything. Why? Because he never has been. What a disgrace the media are. Absolute disgrace.

      And yes, 4 more years of Trump! Get out and VOTE!

      1. Anon (11:44 PM): “Biden said he will “go back to being a professor” at the University of Pennsylvania when he loses and be “back teaching.” Biden never taught a single class at UPenn.”


        Anon clearly doesn’t understand that “teaching” isn’t always done in a classroom.

        “The Penn Biden Center, which opened in 2018, states that it “engages Penn’s students and partners with its faculty and global centers to convene world leaders, develop and advance smart policy, and strengthen the national debate for continued American global leadership in the 21st century,” according to the mission statement on its website.

        “Although he does not teach regular classes, Biden has appeared on campus several times, and spoken at Penn on at least five occasions. Some of his visits include a dialogue at Irvine Auditorium with former U.K. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, Penn’s 2018 Silfen Forum, and an event with President Gutmann, where he discussed international relations and cancer research.”

        “Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor”

        Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor

        Please note that Joseph R. Biden, Jr. is currently on leave from the University of Pennsylvania as he campaigns for President of the United States.

        Joe Biden is the Benjamin Franklin Presidential Practice Professor at the University of Pennsylvania and the driving force behind the new Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement. He represented Delaware for 36 years in the U.S. Senate before becoming the 47th Vice President of the United States.

          1. “He’s been on campus so infrequently that it becomes news when he actually is there. The Daily Pennsylvanian even took to publishing a photo essay documenting each appearance: four times each in 2017 and 2018, and twice this year.”


          “Penn Paid Joe Biden $775,000 to Expand Its “Global Outreach” … and Give Some Speeches

          The former VP’s financial disclosures reveal that his annual salary was nearly double that of the average Penn prof — and he didn’t even have to teach.”

          “He is not scheduled to teach a formal course at this time,” Annenberg School dean Michael Delli Carpini said at the time of Biden’s appointment. And since, Biden still has not taught a single course at the school — despite having a six-figure salary and the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy & Global Engagement named after him…

          What, then, does Biden actually do for all that money at Penn? It’s a good question — one student journalists at the Daily Pennsylvanian have been asking since his appointment. But maybe it makes sense: Passing from vice president to non-teaching Penn prof is a pretty seamless progression from sinecure to sinecure, when you think about it….

          But it sounds to us like Biden’s professorship is really more of speaking residency. He’s been on campus so infrequently that it becomes news when he actually is there. The Daily Pennsylvanian even took to publishing a photo essay documenting each appearance: four times each in 2017 and 2018, and twice this year. (Biden’s been on unpaid leave from the university ever since he announced his campaign for president in April.)…”

        2. Oh yeah, Joke Biden is a professor at Penn and a he’s indispensable on the boards of a hundred corporations too, huh.

          Oh, and Hunter knows Burisma-type energy exploration and production.

          Oh, hecks yes!


            “Move Over Hunter Biden. Meet Eric Branstad, the China Ambassador’s Son Who Got Rich in Trump’s Swamp”


            Mara Hvistendahl, Lee Fang
            October 15 2020, 9:11 a.m.


            IN APRIL 2018, the Trump administration banned Chinese telecom equipment giant ZTE from buying American-made parts, threatening to cripple the company’s worldwide operations. An opening salvo in Trump’s trade war with China, the measure was extreme. But ZTE had violated export controls by selling technology to Iran and North Korea, then breached an agreement with the Commerce Department in which it had pledged to stop. Moreover, ZTE makes technology that can be used for surveillance and has ties to the Chinese military.

            Just one month later, however, President Donald Trump unexpectedly tweeted that he might be open to a deal that would free ZTE from the Commerce Department penalty, known as a denial order. “Too many jobs in China lost,” he wrote. Republican lawmakers, Washington analysts, and Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton were aghast. Bolton later called the sudden reversal “policy by personal whim and impulse.” But the White House moved forward anyway. By early June, Commerce and ZTE had reached a preliminary deal. In July, the Commerce Department lifted the ban.

            ZTE’s path back into business with American suppliers has long been shrouded in mystery. Some critics highlighted the role of lobbyists working for ZTE. Shortly after the Commerce Department penalized ZTE, a law firm representing the Chinese company started paying the lobbying outfit Mercury Public Affairs $75,000 a month to unwind the order. Mercury partner and former Trump campaign adviser Bryan Lanza took on the account. But an Intercept investigation has found that Lanza traveled to China with a Mercury colleague and fellow Trump campaign veteran: former Commerce Department official Eric Branstad, who is also the son of Terry Branstad, then Trump’s ambassador to China.

            Eric Branstad was close with Trump and had joined Mercury just three months earlier, after a stint advising Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross. He had a checkered past, marred by killing two people in a car crash when he was a teenager, and had made money off his relationships with his father and Trump. In his home state of Iowa, his activities would spark comparisons to Hunter Biden, the son of Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

            Three days after Trump’s curious tweet, Lanza began emailing and calling officials at the Commerce Department on ZTE’s behalf. In June, he and Eric Branstad traveled to Beijing for meetings with Chinese government groups, including a chamber of commerce established by the Chinese Communist Party’s influential United Front Work Department that has ties to large Chinese companies. ZTE is an executive board member of a closely affiliated group. That second group is a unit of the chamber’s parent organization, according to Gerry Groot, an expert on the United Front at the University of Adelaide.

            Documents show that Eric Branstad did not register as an agent for ZTE, despite the timing of Mercury’s contract with the Chinese firm and his decision to accompany the ZTE lobbying representative while in China. His meetings with Chinese government groups were revealed only in posts published in Chinese by his hosts…

            -The Intercept

            1. ‘Just saw for myself a behind the scenes look at the #HunterBiden hard drive:

              Drugs, underage obsessions, power deals…

              Druggie Hunter makes Anthony Weiner’s down under selfie addiction look normal.

              #BidenCrimeFamily has a lot of apologizing to do.’ @ChanelRion

              1. ‘So let me get this straight, Donald Trump got impeached for something Joe Biden did..?

                And he got investigated for 3 years for something Hillary Clinton did..?’

                That is correct.

              1. “…although the authenticity of the Biden emails has not been independently confirmed.”

                You omitted this. Conveniently.

                Let’s not jump to conclusions.

                1. They’re authentic. Here’s the amazing thing….Joe Biden turns out to be an all out gangster taking 50% kickbacks from his own son. And probably his brother James as well…for decades! This is why they call it Biden, Inc. This is Hillary Clinton on sterioids being hidden behind the good old ‘lunchbox Joe’ act. It’s all a lie. Biden is Corleone, the Godfather.

                  1. “It’s a federal crime to provide a government benefit or favorable change in policy in exchange for something of personal value. At a minimum, argued former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, Biden “had a conflict of interest with the position his son had” on the Burisma board, noting that at the time, Biden was pushing energy policies that favored the gas giant.”


                2. Both Joe Biden and Donald Trump did in-person town halls, so why did we cancel the debate? Think real hard. The answer is right there.

                  To give Joe Biden a better forum (than a contentious debate with Trump) to talk uninterrrupted with a friendly moderator who didn’t ask a single question about the explosive NY Post story on Hunter selling access to his father all over the world.

                  A debate with Trump and Biden where the moderator did not ask Joe about the Hunter email scandal, we all know would have resulted in Trump bringing it up and asking Biden…..and so this way….having a friendly townhall….it gave Joe a nice, cushy platform to present himself to voters while the media brushed the NY Post scandalous story right under the rug.

                  The press is not “covering” Biden, they are “Covering up” for Biden. That is the liberal media’s role. It’s disgusting.

                    1. Without consulting either campaign, the corrupt Debate Commission unilaterally moved it to a virtual format that Trump objected to and declined.

                    2. Anyone would be an idiot to get in a room with Covid Don unless he’s got a fresh test result in hand. He’s dirty and has already polluted and infected the WH, Air Force One, and Marine One, then lies about it.

                    3. dear Anon writes, “But it’s Russian disinformation being peddled by Giuliani.”

                      We’ll see.

                      “Giuliani released bombshell after bombshell in a video released Wednesday evening after the media did their best to censor the N.Y. Post article — making the social media censorship even more damning to those who tried to hide it from the public. Since receiving the copy of the hard drive, Giuliani has been poring through it, carefully documenting and preparing his prosecution. What he says he found is the actual evidence of payments, the money-laundering scheme they used, “illegal money for bribes,” and how “some of that money from Ukraine … went to Joe Biden.”

                      Like a prosecutor laying out the case, Giuliani leads off the video with this: “In future days, you will see texts, emails, and photos that demonstrate crimes committed by the Biden crime family — in China (probably most of all), Russia, and several other countries.”


                    4. ‘The second debate moderator was suspended indefinitely after he was working w Scaramucci to sabotage President Trump, got busted, then lied about it.

                      And the media is acting like it never happened.

                      Trump was right—about everything.’ @thebradfordfile

                    5. Stupid people conclude disinformation without any knowledge but think the Steele Dossier was real also despite a lack of knowledge.

                      The problem is the releases of emails coincide with things previously known but not adequately reported by the MSM. These puzzle pieces fit nicely.

                      It’s interesting the hypocrisy that comes from your mouth.

                      Your children and grandchildren will love the enslavement you brought into their lives.

            2. ‘Hypothesis: Joe Biden has been blackmailed by foreign entities with incriminating material involving both him and his son.’ – Styxx

      2. Oh, and dear Anon — about the ‘plagiarism’:

        “Neil Kinnock on Biden’s plagiarism ‘scandal’ and why he deserves to win: ‘Joe’s an honest guy'”

        “In a 1987 Democratic primary debate, Biden sprinkled Kinnock’s phrases into his own speech and forgot to credit him – a blunder many believe cost him the presidency”


        In 2007, as Biden made a second run for president, the pair met again at his office on Capitol Hill in Washington. Kinnock says: “I went in and he greeted me and he called into the various smaller rooms and said, ‘Hey, folks, come here, I want you to meet somebody’. So his staff came out – and obviously by comparison with an MP’s staff, that’s a pretty large number – and he said, ‘Folks, I want you to meet my greatest ever speechwriter.’ And we all laughed.”

        Kinnock, who lost two general elections, fervently hopes that Biden can make it third time lucky in his own career.

        “I’ve got five reasons for that and they’re all my grandchildren, because whether we like it or not, the president of the United States impinges on all our lives and certainly the lives of future generations. I know that they’d be better served, like the kids in the USA, by Joe Biden than they could ever be by Trump.

        “Joe is honest, he’s courageous, he’s well-informed and experienced, and most of all, he’s rational, all things that Trump isn’t. One of Joe’s greatest strengths, I think, certainly a natural attribute is that he’s normal. He really is the well-informed guy off the street and in an age when voters are looking for authenticity, he is the real thing.”

        And what does Kinnock make of Trump? “Oh, God,” he says, sounding anguished. “I tell you what, I’ve got 74% left in my battery and it would run out if I were to regale you with my views. I find it profoundly depressing. My wife and I rage at the television every time the man’s on and it is a miracle that our TV has survived. So far.”

        -The Guardian

        1. About the plagiarism….

          “Biden was forced to drop out of the 1988 race following accusations of plagiarism. Under scrutiny, he had to admit he had a history of using other people’s work.”

          From The Washington Post:

          “The collapse had begun 11 days earlier, with news that Biden had lifted phrases and mannerisms from a British Labour Party politician while making closing remarks at a debate. Examples soon surfaced of Biden using material from other politicians without attribution, and he acknowledged he had been accused of plagiarism in law school. To make matters worse, a video emerged of Biden exaggerating his academic record while speaking angrily to a voter in New Hampshire.

          “I made some mistakes,” Biden, then a U.S. senator, told the press as he announced the end of his candidacy, in a speech that was by turns regretful and defiant. “But now, the exaggerated shadow of those mistakes has begun to obscure the essence of my candidacy and the essence of Joe Biden.”


          “…while speaking angrily to a voter in New Hampshire”

          Yep, it’s Joe’s personality….he’s still doing it….to this day…..Joe still loses control and attacks voters and name calls when he is pressed. And Joe still lies.

          But Joe sloughs it off as simply: “I made some mistakes…”

          As I said about Joe above, “once a liar always a liar.” Oh but Joe’s campaign keeps telling us that HE will be the president who tells the truth and doesn’t lie? Haha. His entire campaign is based on and built on lies! What a lying mixed up mess Joe Biden is. And his family too. Hunter? Hoo boy.

          1. “Trump’s fake new Biden scandal has a deeper purpose. Bannon revealed it.”

            Oct. 15, 2020

            by Greg Sargent



            “Joe Biden has been blatantly lying about his involvement in his son’s corrupt business dealings,” Trump shouted, claiming those emails are a “smoking gun.”

            There are all kinds of problems with the new allegations. The emails — purportedly from Vadym Pozharskyi, an adviser to Burisma, the company that paid Hunter Biden to sit on its board — show Pozharskyi thanking him for arranging a meeting with his then-vice president father.

            But the sourcing of the emails is hilariously suspect. They were supposedly transferred to a hard drive by a Delaware computer repair store owner from a laptop that Hunter Biden supposedly dropped off. But the owner won’t say he’s certain the customer was Biden, and, weirdly, he never returned for it.

            Worse, Bannon and Trump lawyer Rudolph W. Giuliani — who alerted the New York Post to the story and provided the hard drive — are refusing to make it available to other news outlets. The “smoking gun” email was reproduced in photo form, and one expert told The Post’s Glenn Kessler that it has no traceable metadata.

            Meanwhile, the Biden campaign checked Joe Biden’s schedule and found no such meeting, and no one has shown it happened. (If some kind of perfunctory handshake introduction did happen, even that wouldn’t necessarily show corruption.) That gives the lie to Trump’s claim about what this “smoking gun” supposedly proves.

            To top it all off, this nefarious arrangement is cast as the prelude to Biden corruptly forcing out a Ukrainian prosecutor who was supposedly investigating Burisma, to protect his son’s business arrangements.

            But that story is based on fiction: The ouster of the prosecutor was backed by international institutions because he was corrupt, and there was no investigation of Burisma at the time.

            Bottom line: Biden just didn’t abuse his official powers to do anything corrupt on his son’s behalf, and this new fakery doesn’t change that at all. So what is it supposed to accomplish? We know from Bannon himself.


            An unsolved media problem

            Trump’s last-ditch hope is to cast a vague pall of corruption over Biden. Lots of mainstream press stories about newly discovered laptops and secret emails and meetings between Biden family members and mysterious foreign influence peddlers might help spread that miasma — no matter how absurd or unsubstantiated the details, which few pay attention to.

            To be clear, coverage of this story has been sharply skeptical and lacerating. And it probably should be covered, since it does have some news value. But plainly, the mere fact of covering smears and disinformation, even negatively, itself rewards their purveyors.

            This is a difficult pitfall without an obvious answer, one that Brian Beutler memorably dubbed the “conservative sh-tstorm” problem. But it’s obvious that in some general sense the media often does get gamed by it (see, But her emails!), and that many media figures to this day refuse to reckon seriously with it.

            That said, this latest effort could further backfire on Trump. Precisely because Trump is so addicted to right-wing media, and so unable to grasp that audiences outside that bubble have seen endless such smears of Joe Biden but have only grown to like him more, Trump will see the story widely pushed there and assume it must be effective.

            Which will only mean Trump wastes more time talking about Hunter Biden when he really needs to be giving millions of voters a real reason to get over their deep alienation from him. And time is running out. — Greg Sargent

            Don’t stop with these excerpts. Read the entire piece.

            1. Abandoning things when you are drunk or high is not unusual. From personal experience, I abandoned two cars. A laptop would mean nothing and I probably would not remember where I dropped it off.


              “Like a prosecutor laying out the case, Giuliani leads off the video with this: “In future days, you will see texts, emails, and photos that demonstrate crimes committed by the Biden crime family — in China (probably most of all), Russia, and several other countries.”

              The use of “the Biden crime family” is no mere hyperbole. Before Rudy Giuliani was “America’s Mayor,” he was one of America’s top prosecutors, which included bringing down mafia crime families. And he has evidence — from Hunter — that implicates not only Hunter and Joe Biden, but also James (Joe’s brother) and Sara (James’s wife). One set of payments from China went to a triad of Bidens: James, Hunter, and Sara. Don’t worry, Giuliani says — you’re going to see it in the texts, not making it up.

              The fact he was one of America’s top prosecutors makes the ending of the video even more damning: “I’ve been in this business a long time. This is the biggest cover-up I have ever seen. And it is the biggest government scandal, I’ve ever heard of.”


              Don’t stop with these excerpts. Read the entire piece, dear Anon.

            3. “As Politico reports:

              Biden’s campaign would not rule out the possibility that the former VP had some kind of informal interaction with Pozharskyi, which wouldn’t appear on Biden’s official schedule. But they said any encounter would have been cursory. Pozharskyi did not respond to a request for comment.”


          2. The deletion of comments would seem to have little rhyme or reason; it all seems pretty arbitrary.

            Good to see your comment, Mark — though it was only here for a few minutes.

          3. Biden Plagiarism Involved More Than the Words

            Thanks are owed to Vice President Pence for, at the outset of his debate with Senator Kamala Harris, making reference to “plagiarism, which is something Joe Biden knows a little bit about.” The lead front-page New York Times news article about the debate dismissed it as “Biden’s 33-year-old plagiarism scandal.”

            The scandal, which led in 1987 to Senator Biden dropping out of the Democratic presidential race, wasn’t so much that Mr. Biden had borrowed words or phrases. Politicians do that all the time. It’s that he had falsified his own background to make it seem more blue-collar than it is. That’s a charge that may resonate again in the current campaign.

            Britain’s Labor Party leader Neil Kinnock had talked about his coal miner ancestors. “Why am I the first Kinnock in a thousand generations to be able to get to university…Was it because all our predecessors were thick? . . . Those people who could sing and play and recite and write poetry? . . . Those people who could work eight hours underground and then come up and play football?”

            Mr. Biden had stolen the lines: “Why is it that Joe Biden is the first in his family ever to go to a university? . . . Is it because I’m the first Biden in a thousand generations to get a college and a graduate degree? That I was smarter than the rest? Those same people who read poetry and wrote poetry and taught me how to sing verse? Is it because they didn’t work hard? My ancestors, who worked in the coal mines of northeast Pennsylvania and would come up after 12 hours and play football for four hours?”

            The problem was, Mr. Biden was not the first in his family to go to college. Mr. Biden also did not have any coal-miner relatives.

            Mr. Biden made light of the falsehood in a 2004 television appearance: “Hell, I might be president now if it weren’t for the fact I said I had an uncle who was a coal miner. Turns out I didn’t have anybody in the coal mines, y’know what I mean? I tried that crap — it didn’t work! .. He was an engineer. .. I found out he graduated from Lehigh!”

            If Mr. Biden once had a sense of humor about his phony populism, he’s lost it now that he’s running for president posing as a Warren-Sanders leftist. The Democratic nominee has been describing the election as “a choice between Scranton and Park Avenue values”— while raising millions from Park Avenue donors.

            Mr. Biden has been faulting President Trump for exclusive country club policies — while belonging to a fancy country club himself and holding a fundraiser at another.

            It’s one thing to plagiarize phony populism from a British Labor Party leader. It’s another thing to try to duplicate Mr. Trump’s own rare political skill of being a super-rich spokesman for the disaffected working man.

            It’s funny, because Mr. Biden and his wife Jill Biden earned $1,689,651 in 2018 from American colleges and universities, nearly half a million of it from two Ivy League institutions, Brown University and the University of Pennsylvania. Now, in September 2020, Mr. Biden is going around again falsely describing himself as “the first in my family to go to college,” and making a big deal of his lack of an Ivy League degree. He does have an honorary doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania, whose website still lists him as a professor there.

            Senator Harris and her husband own three homes worth nearly $8 million, the Wall Street Journal reported, while Mr. Biden “owns roughly $5 million worth of real estate, according to a recent Wall Street Journal analysis: an estate in Wilmington, Delaware’s ‘château country’ next to a man-made lake built by the du Pont family and a beach house in Rehoboth Beach.”

            I don’t begrudge Mr. Biden his earnings, his beach house, his Ivy League professorship, or his chateau-country estate. But it’s a bit much for him to go around claiming, as he did October 10 in Erie, Pennsylvania, “The president can only see the world from Park Avenue. I see it from Scranton.”

            By IRA STOLL, Special to the Sun | October 12, 2020


      3. “Biden is a snoozefest of lies and corruption. He hasn’t earned a single vote and he’s too dam [sic] old for the job.”

        So Anon says. We’ll see.

Leave a Reply