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Devastating

During this first break in the hearing, a quick survey of the media reaction suggests (i) a near universal* sympathy toward Christine Blasey Ford, who appeared poised, credible, sincere and compelling; and (ii) that even Fox News observers see this as devastating testimony for Senate Republicans still trying to push through the Kavanaugh nomination.

*Conservative Twitter was predictably ugly. More soon on that …

Disjointed Mess

The list of things wrong with the Senate Judiciary Committee’s approach to the Kavanaugh allegations is long, but this pingponging back and forth between the GOP’s outside counsel and Democratic senators is bonkers. For those not watching, it’s making for a fragmented, disjointed, jarring hearing. It’s just another layer to the indefensible process that the majority cobbled together to try to minimize the risks to the Kavanaugh nomination.

Minor Note

Here’s a minor note on a day of major news. President Trump has no meeting with Rod Rosenstein listed on his schedule today. No big secret here. He said yesterday in his press conference that he might ask Rosenstein to postpone their meeting because of the big events on Capitol Hill. He also said he’d prefer to keep Rosenstein on and suggested he believed his denials of the details of The New York Times story that triggered this latest drama.

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Thank You

We started our annual Prime membership drive a month ago with a really ambitious goal: 2,000 new subscribers, the kind of goal you’re afraid to set because you’re not going to make it. I think we’re going to make it. We’re now just 278 sign-ups short of that goal. This isn’t an arbitrary number. It’s key to TPM’s future. Ready to join us? Click here.

Edge of Collapse

Spokesperson for the ‘Judicial Crisis Network’, Carrie Severino, the Federalist Society-linked campaign group that runs ads for right-wing judicial candidates, buckles on air in the face of the latest charges. It’s really must watch video.

A Ready Willingness to Lie

We now have a flurry of different accusations against Brett Kavanaugh. They range from highly detailed accusations to one which is fragmentary even in the recollection of the alleged victim. But there’s something else that has grabbed my attention repeatedly in the last forty-eight hours. It is inherently difficult to reconstruct things that happened decades ago. But in the course of reacting to these different accusations, Kavanaugh has repeatedly lied in the present. If these allegations are true – and I believe they are – then Kavanaugh is lying in denying them. But it’s not even those lies which really jump out to me. Kavanaugh has told a series of other lies that are really clear cut and demonstrable.

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This Is a Very Weird and Suspect Choice

As I mentioned last night, there are some real questions worth asking about the political views of Rachel Mitchell, the Arizona prosecutor chosen by Judiciary Committee Republicans to do their questioning of Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford. But judged entirely on its own, this is a truly bizarre decision, quite apart from all the obvious optics about hiring an outside person to avoid having the Committee Republican men question an alleged victim of sexual assault.

Mitchell is a prosecutor who specializes in child sexual abuse cases. Those cases require all sorts of specific knowledge and experience. That experience is at best ill-suited to this assignment. Blasey Ford is a fifty-something college professor. And in any case, this isn’t a trial.

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It's a Huge Scandal and a Must-Read

Florida is one of four states that permanently disenfranchises citizens with felony convictions. That means 1.4 million Floridians can’t vote, a number which disproportionately affects the state’s African-American population (by design). But a measure on the ballot on election day could change that. TPM’s Allegra Kirkland went to Florida to report this fourth installment of our 2018 series on Voting Rights and Democracy. It’s a must read about a critical issue. Read it here.

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