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Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday, one day before the Senate is set to vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation to the Supreme Court.
- Ford maintained she's sure it was Kavanaugh who sexually assaulted her, while Kavanaugh vehemently denied the allegations.
- Democrats want an FBI investigation, and even asked Kavanaugh to request one from the president, though Kavanaugh refused to do so.
- As of Thursday afternoon, the Senate is still set to vote on Kavanaugh's confirmation on Friday morning.
'I like beer'<p>Kavanaugh said that he likes beer, still likes beer, and perhaps had too many beers at times when he was younger. However, he was sure to paint his past drinking habits in a light of moderation, saying he'd never blacked out, passed out from drinking alcohol or woke up in a strange location after drinking.</p><p>"There is a bright line between drinking beer, which I gladly do, and which I fully embrace, and sexually assaulting someone, which is a violent crime," he said. "If every American who drinks beer, or every American who drank beer in high school, is suddenly presumed guilty of sexual assault, we'll be in an ugly new place in this country."</p>
Kavanaugh: This is Revenge on behalf of the Clintons<p>Kavanaugh suggested that the efforts by Democrats to ruin his reputation and block his nomination were part of a cynical political plot–one he suggested is being executed on behalf of the Clintons.</p><p>"This whole two-week effort has been a calculated and orchestrated political hit fueled with apparent pent-up anger about <a href="https://thehill.com/people/donald-trump" target="_blank">President Trump</a> and the 2016 election, fear that has been unfairly stoked about my judicial record, revenge on behalf of the Clintons and millions of dollars in money from outside left-wing opposition groups," Kavanaugh said. "This is a circus. The consequences will extend long past my nomination; the consequences will be with us for decades."</p>
Kavanaugh: The Swetnick allegation is a farce<p>After Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) mentioned allegations against him by three women–Christine Blasey Ford, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick–Kavanaugh became visibly angry, dismissing the Swetnick allegations as a farce.</p><p>"The Swetnick thing is a joke, it's a farce."</p><p>"Would you like to say more about it?" Feinstein asked.</p><p>"No," Kavanaugh said, eliciting a laugh from the audience.</p>
Why not conduct an FBI investigation?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODY3MDEzOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNDcyNjQ4Nn0.A4Bg3f8v_yMONMYPJXihak-CMwEUsX7J9V5JDgVl5bE/img.jpg?width=980" id="527d3" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="be3ffa4c27fc2c87c9a843490e831611" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
(Photo By Tom Williams-Pool/Getty Images)<p>In his five minutes of questioning, Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) referenced a quote from Kavanaugh's opening statement in which he said he'd "welcome any kind of investigation. Durbin, after noting that Kavanaugh himself had relied on FBI work during his work on the Starr report in the Clinton era, repeatedly pressed Kavanaugh to request an FBI investigation, and asked him whether he thought an FBI investigation would be the best way to proceed.</p><p>"What do you think is best, personally?" Durbin asked.</p><p>Kavanaugh was silent, seeming to stumble for the first time of the afternoon, finally suggesting after a few beats that these allegations were sprung on him and are harmful to his family.</p>
“This is hell”<p>Following Durbin's questioning, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) roughly criticized the tact taken by his Democratic colleagues, saying it was the most "unethical sham" he's seen in his political career.</p><p>"You're looking for a fair process, you came to the wrong town at the wrong time, my friend," Graham said.</p><p>Graham asked Kavanaugh if he's been through hell in the wake of the allegations.</p><p>"I've been through hell and then some."</p><p>"This is not a job interview, this is hell."</p>
Ford: 100% sure<p>"With what degree of certainty do you believe Brett Kavanaugh assaulted you?" Durbin asked Ford.</p><p>"One hundred percent," she responded.</p>
A fear of flying<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODY3MDE2Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyNDk3Mjg5MX0.Ct1-QJC7F4ytisvj3OmK2rY3suAG8hLtHmijnLdJRio/img.jpg?width=980" id="fd844" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="1669fbab4ca01f2a9c05d885bd8bfbc1" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
(Photo by Andrew Harnik-Pool/Getty Images)<p>Ford said that she has claustrophobia and a fear of flying. She said that, because of these conditions, she had hoped the committee would come to her in California so she could avoid flying, but during her testimony said she later realized that would have been an "unrealistic" request.</p> <p>In an apparent attempt to discredit Ford, or to suggest that Democrats had wanted to necessitate a public spectacle in Washington, D.C., Mitchell kept pressing Ford on her phobia of flying. Mitchell asked Ford, who lists "surf travel" as an interest on her C.V., whether she'd ever flown to the French Polynesian islands for leisure. </p> <p>"I also saw on your CV that you list the following interests of travel, and you, in parentheses put 'Hawaii, Costa Rica, South Pacific islands, and French Polynesia,'" Mitchell said. "Have you been to all this places?"</p><p>"Yes," Ford said.</p>
Uproarious laughter<p>Ford said that the most unforgettable part of her experience was the laughter.</p> <p>"Indelible in the hippocampus is the laughter. The uproarious laughter between the two, and their having fun at my expense," Ford said, referring to Brett Kavanaugh and his friend Mark Judge, who she says was in the room.</p><p>She added: "I was underneath one of them while the two laughed...Two friends having a really good time with one another."</p>
Two front doors<p>Ford said that she's developed several neuroses as a result of her sexual assault experience. One of those conditions is claustrophobia, which Ford said led her to install a second front door during a remodeling of her home.</p>"I had completed an extensive remodel of our home, and I insisted on a second front door, an idea that he and others disagreed with and could not understand," she said. "In explaining why I wanted to have a second front door, I described the assault in detail. I recall saying that the boy who assaulted me could someday be on the U.S. Supreme Court and spoke a bit about his background. My husband recalls that I named my attacker as Brett Kavanaugh."
How do we reconcile American culture when an increasing amount of it is made by sex offenders? It's not a new phenomenon. Actress, author, and whistleblower Rose McGowan is here to tell you that American culture has been screwed up for a long, long time.
Actress, author, and whistleblower Rose McGowan is here to tell you that American culture has been screwed up for a long, long time. She wonders how our society can defend a culture that embraces sexual deviants (see: Woody Allen, Louis C.K.) and clearly racist imagery (see: the Washington Redskins name and logo). She muses, too, on why American culture seems to be so bent on putting complex and thoughtful women second place to the likes of, as she puts it, a "slovenly slob" like Adam Sandler. Women deserve better, she posits. And we're absolutely inclined to agree. Rose McGowan's new book is aptly titled BRAVE.
Feminist, author, and whistle-blower Rose McGowan joins us for a wide-ranging talk about the myths behind sexual abuse and why it's never O.K. to label someone with loaded words.
It's hard to put a bio of Rose McGowan into one sentence. She is one of the whistle-blowers behind the anti-sexual-harassment movement sweeping the nation, and she is also one of the most visible voices of the #METOO / #TIMESUP movements. Rose McGowan is part people's champion, part feminist orator, and, in our wide-ranging interview with her (of which is this part 1 of several), she is part cool-aunt that gives you incredibly solid life advice. Here, she talks with us about the myths behind sexual abuse. It's not just a women's issue, she says, it's a people issue. And certain kinds of people seem to propagate the idea that it's somehow O.K. to put other people into boxes. She posits this is part of the abusive cycle, and that it doesn't have to be that way. Her marvelous new book is appropriately titled BRAVE.
Three questions for the designer of a video game in line with the times.
The computer scientist’s group has designed a game that gets players to reflect on sexual misconduct in the workplace.
What's changed since Anita Hill took on Clarence Thomas in 1991? The power of the accuser.
In 1991, U.S. attorney Anita Hill testified against Supreme Court nominee Clarence Thomas for sexual harassment, and nevertheless, the United States Senate confirmed Thomas to the Supreme Court. In 2017, after many women broke the silence on Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein with a horrifying number of allegations of sexual abuse, Weinstein was fired from his own company. Actor Kevin Spacey was fired from various productions after allegations of his transgressions surfaced. The same for comedian Louis C.K. And so on and so on in this monumental landslide. So what's changed between 1991 and 2017? Why are institutions no longer protecting accused abusers? Psychotherapist Esther Perel believes it's not the accused who have changed over time—they are not worse today or more prevalent than they were then—but rather it's the accuser who has changed. In the past women did not speak out against sexual abuse because of the fear that they would not be believed. It was "part of the deal" of life as a woman, says Perel. Women today, however, finally have enough social power to withstand the forces of denial. "And so the system, for the first time, has to reckon and has to act with consequence to the allegations that are being made," says Perel. The old dynamic between men and women is shifting, and there is rising proof that women will no longer tolerate having to ignore or manage sexually violent or unwarranted interactions. So where do we go from here? Perel champions increased understanding between men and women, rather than demonization, and recommends a shift in gender socialization that begins in childhood—meaning no more pink for girls and blue for boys. No more divisive constructs that make men and women feel as though they are from different planets. Esther Perel is the author of The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. See more at estherperel.com.