How to become a Trump judge

Retired Federal judge Nancy Gertner writes:

‘Kavanaugh’s performance at that hearing alone should be disqualifying. His behavior and affect, the pointed and partisan nature of his accusations, resonated with this President’s incivility and name calling. He was consumed with rage at his Democrat interlocutors, fairly spitting out his answers. He treated them with disrespect, interrupting, repeating his talking points rather than answering question. When Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont asked him if he would call for an FBI investigation, to make the process more fair, he did not answer. He showed himself to be a zealot determined to get on the high court, at all costs.

With this performance, Kavanaugh became Trump’s version of what a judge should be, not unlike Trump’s version of what his attorney general should be. They were both supposed to be Trump partisans, not neutrals, and above all, ready for central casting. Trump reportedly was unhappy with Kavanaugh’s performance on “Fox News” several evenings before; Kavanaugh was “wooden,” he said, insufficiently assertive. So Kavanaugh changed his tune. Now, fully a Trump judge, he was playing to his base — President Trump. And it worked. Trump tweeted minutes after the hearing completed: ”Judge Kavanaugh showed America exactly why I nominated him.”

I had never heard a judge speak like that to a public audience, let alone during a confirmation hearing.

A judge is not only supposed to be unbiased, he is also to reflect the appearance of impartiality, avoiding situations in which reasonable people can believe he is partisan. How can Kavanaugh possibly meet that requirement given what we all saw on Thursday?

Consider this: Kavanaugh is confirmed is immediately sworn in by Justice John Roberts in the chambers of the Supreme Court. And on the docket is a challenge to gerrymandering brought by Democrats in one state; or another involving accusations of voter suppression against Republicans in a swing state. What about the cases that directly challenge presidential power, like the enforceability of a subpoena brought by special counsel Robert Mueller against Trump in the Russia investigation? How can he even appear remotely impartial in these cases when his presentation so fully and completely reflected the Republican party’s rage? He cannot. He is not.

Kavanaugh will not get his reputation back whether or not he is confirmed. These accusations, that performance, scotched all such hopes. But if he cared about the Supreme Court as an institution, he would withdraw now. Of course he will not; he wants this position, no matter what the cost, so stunning is his ambition. His body of work has been the functional equivalent of a 20-year application. He was a zealot in the Kenneth Starr investigation of President Bill Clinton, and then, when it suited him to be more neutral, wrote a law review article changing his tune; no president should be subject to the treatment, the very treatment he visited on Clinton. Serious issues were raised with respect to his truthfulness in his confirmation hearings concerning his role in the Bush administration.

He categorically denied Ford’s accusations again — even when he and others confirm at least part of it. He was the thinly-disguised Bart O’Kavanaugh in Mark Judge’s book, “Wasted,’’ passed out in a car. He joined a Yale fraternity famous for its wild drunken parties. At Yale Law School, my alma mater, he touted the all night parties, broken tables, etc. most recently in a 2014 speech. It was not such a leap to Ford’s account of drunken adolescents preying on a younger woman …’

Source: The Boston Globe

Severe Trauma And Giving Up on Life

Sleep sad depressed Woman large bigstock’New research shows that people can die simply because they’ve given up, believing life has beaten them and they feel defeat is inescapable…

It usually follows a trauma from which a person thinks there is no escape, making death seem like the only rational outcome, explains Dr. John Leach, a senior research fellow at the University of Portsmouth.

“Psychogenic death is real,” he said. “It isn’t suicide, it isn’t linked to depression, but the act of giving up on life and dying, usually within days, is a very real condition often linked to severe trauma.”

In the study, he describes the five stages leading to progressive psychological decline.…’

Via Psych Central

The study describes the psychological stages of such giving up but does not suggest the mechanism by which it brings about death. Others have talked about, literally, dying of a broken heart. At least some cases involve what is referred to medically as takotsubo cardiomyopathy, apical ballooning syndrome or stress cardiomyopathy.

Grateful Dead’s Phil Lesh Donates $10,000 to Christine Blasey Ford

5600172ae’Grateful Dead bassist Phil Lesh contributed $10,000 to a GoFundMe campaign benefitting Dr. Christine Blasey Ford and her family. A representative for Lesh confirmed to Rolling Stone that the bassist did make the donation, though Lesh declined to provide further comment. Lesh ostensibly made his donation last Sunday, September 23rd, though it wasn’t until Thursday – the day Ford testified in front of the Senate Judiciary committee about the time Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh allegedly sexually assaulted her – that several websites spotted the contribution

The GoFundMe campaign for Ford and her family is no longer accepting donations after raising $528,315. A note on the page reads, “A statement of gratitude from the family will be forthcoming in the next 48 hours with a fuller explanation, but in the meantime, do keep your comments coming. I am sharing them with her.”…’

Via Rolling Stone

R.I.P. Marty Balin

 

Jefferson Airplane Co-Founder Dead at 76

GettyImages 115857280’Jefferson Airplane vocalist-guitarist Marty Balin, who co-founded the San Francisco psychedelic rock band in 1965 and played a crucial role in the creation of all their 1960s albums, including Surrealistic Pillow and Volunteers, died Thursday at the age of 76. Balin’s rep confirmed the musician’s death to Rolling Stone, though the cause of death is currently unknown. “RIP Marty Balin, fellow bandmate and music traveler passed last night,” Jefferson Airplane bassist Jack Casady said in a statement. “A great songwriter and singer who loved life and music. We shared some wonderful times together. We will all miss you!!!!”…’

Via Rolling Stone

 

First Paul Kantner, then Marty Balin, gone on to a better place from one of the all-time greatest soaring psychedelic rock bands ever. (And, Marty, you are fully forgiven for Starship.) Playing some Airplane LOUD now.