Now that the woman behind a fuzzy, anonymous sexual assault allegation against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh has gone public with her accusation, it must be taken seriously. That means having the FBI look into it. That also means the Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee who are so enamored with the persona they have created for Kavanaugh (He’s super smart! He loves his kids! He likes homeless people, too!) need to delay their vote on him.
Because even though this incident allegedly happened more than three decades ago, we still need to know more about it — and then a decision can be made.
The accuser, Christine Blasey Ford, is a Palo Alto University professor who trains graduate students in clinical psychology. She has offered details: a drunken teenage Kavanaugh allegedly pushing her into a bedroom and onto a bed, groping her, clapping his hand over her mouth when she tried to yell out. That doesn't make her story automatically true, but the details make the allegation serious enough to be worth investigating.
Whether you support the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh or oppose it, you can only be disgusted by the way the Senate has handled — or mishandled — a last-minute allegation dating to his high school days.
On Thursday, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) issued this vague statement: “I have received information from an individual concerning the nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. That individual strongly requested confidentiality, declined to come forward or press the matter further, and I have honored that decision. I have, however, referred the matter to federal investigative authorities.”
Feinstein may have had no choice but to go public at that point about what was later reported to be a letter alleging that the teenage Kavanaugh had held a girl down at a party and attempted to force himself on her.
Paul Manafort’s decision to accept a plea deal and cooperate with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III’s investigation of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election doesn’t really come as a surprise — having already been convicted on tax fraud charges, this was the smart move for Manafort, a former chairman of Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign. From the public’s point of view, it’s most significant for the reassurance it offers: The political machinery in Washington may be in shambles, but the courts, and Mueller’s team, are holding firm.
I’m among those who believe President Trump has sought to obstruct justice, from his firing of FBI director James B. Comey to his threat to Mueller to not investigate Trump family finances. Congress, which is where you’d expect to find oversight — you know, checks and balances — has instead offered Trump cover. Adherence to law is secondary to congressional Republican leaders whose primary focus is hanging on to power.
Earlier this summer it seemed possible, even likely, that there would be only one debate between California’s two gubernatorial candidates. That’s all that front-runner Gavin Newsom, a Democrat, would agree to.
Now it seems as if even that one debate will not happen, and this time because of John Cox’s demands. The Republican businessman, who is challenging Newsom, wouldn’t agree to participate unless he could dictate the topics of conversation, according to a story by my colleague Melanie Mason. The debate host, CNN, finally canceled the Oct. 1 event — and who can blame the network for pulling out?
What a couple of babies. Cox and Newsom should be happy to meet in any and all forums to engage with each other and show voters the differences between them. As The Times editorial board said in a recent editorial, there’s nothing quite like these unscripted debate forums to offer a glimpse into the real character of a candidate.
Pope Francis will meet Thursday with a delegation of U.S. bishops who want to discuss the furor over the sensational accusations against the pope by a retired Vatican diplomat. The delegation will be led by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Archbishop Jose Gomez of Los Angeles, the vice president.
It’s possible that after the meeting the pope will abandon his policy of refusing to comment on accusations by Carlo Maria Vigano, a former Vatican envoy to the United States. Last month Vigano issued a “testimony” in which he claimed that Francis had attempted to rehabilitate former Cardinal Theodore McCarrick after Francis’ predecessor, Pope Benedict XVI, had sidelined McCarrick by 2010 in response to reports that McCarrick had sexually harassed seminarians.
Certainly Catholics demoralized by the McCarrick affair hope the pope will break his silence. But they couldn’t have been encouraged by a sermon the pope delivered at Mass on Tuesday.
There’s a certain irony in the timing of a report that the Trump administration is about to lift more restrictions on methane emissions from drilling operations a day after Gov. Jerry Brown signed a new law requiring California to get all of its electricity from zero-carbon sources by 2045.
On the one hand, we have more environmentally irresponsible behavior from the Trump administration, while on the other, the fifth-largest economy in the world steps out — again — as a global leader in the fight to counter the worst effects of climate change.
Oh for heaven’s sake. It’s a good milestone for sure, but that combination of high growth and low unemployment has been repeated dozens of times since World War II ended. Here’s what Fox News’ research arm had to say:
Since 1948, there have been 63 quarters with a GDP growth rate higher than avg quarterly unemployment rate
Sen. Kamala Harris, one of at least two potential Democratic presidential candidates on the Senate Judiciary Committee, got a lot of eyeballs for the video of part of her interrogation of Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
The drama unfolded Wednesday when Harris asked the judge: “Have you discussed [Robert S.] Mueller or his investigation with anyone at Kasowitz Benson Torres, the law firm founded by Marc Kasowitz, President Trump’s personal lawyer?” Sounding like a prosecutor warning of a perjury trap, she added ominously: “Be sure about your answer, sir.”
Kavanaugh, perplexed, asked, “Is there a person you’re talking about?” Harris, unable or unwilling to provide a name, shot back: “I’m asking you a very direct question: Yes or no?”
While the business world was scandalized by Elon Musk smoking marijuana on a podcast late Thursday, here’s a reason for Los Angeles to be offended: The city may be getting played by Musk and his tunnel-boring company.
Mayor Eric Garcetti, the City Council and the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority have all been drafted into working on Musk’s idea to build a network of tunnels under Los Angeles that could whoosh cars or pods of people underground and out of traffic.
City Council members wanted to waive the standard environmental reviews for Musk’s proof-of-concept tunnel, giving the project a free pass rarely extended to other transportation projects. City staff have begun work on the environmental review needed for the Boring Co.’s other project in L.A. — the proposed Dugout Loop, a 3.6-mile underground shuttle to ferry fans to Dodger Stadium.