Homepage

Jair Bolsonaro: Far-right candidate wins first round of Brazil election

Composite photo of Jair Bolsonaro (left) and Fernando Haddad (right) Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Jair Bolsonaro (left) and Fernando Haddad will face each other in a run-off

A far-right candidate, Jair Bolsonaro, has won the first round of Brazil’s presidential election.

He will face the left-wing Workers’ Party candidate, Fernando Haddad, in the second round on 28 October after he failed to win the 50% of valid votes needed to win outright.

With almost all the votes counted, Mr Bolsonaro had 46% and Mr Haddad 29%.

Opinion polls conducted before the election predicted that in a second round the two candidates would be tied.

Mr Bolsonaro’s once insignificant Social Liberal Party (PSL) is poised to become the largest force in Congress following legislative elections held alongside the presidential vote, in what analysts have described as a seismic shift in Brazilian politics.

The politician and the PSL have ridden a wave of rising anger at the Workers’ Party, which their supporters blame for a prolonged recession, rising violent crime and widespread corruption in South America’s largest economy.

Why is Bolsonaro so controversial?

The former army captain has made provocative statements on a huge range of issues.

His hard-line approach to law and order has brought back memories of the two-decade military dictatorship, and earned him backing from the military and those demanding greater safety in a country with rising levels of violent crime.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Jair Bolsonaro has strong support within the armed forces

Misogynistic and homophobic rhetoric has prompted outrage and protests, while his anti-abortion stance has won him support from millions of evangelical Christians.

His son, Eduardo, tweeted a photo of himself and former chief strategist to US President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon – who, he says, is “in touch” with his father’s campaign to help fight “cultural Marxism”.

Economically, Mr Bolsonaro favours a smaller state. He has announced plans to lower taxes, privatise state companies and limit foreign ownership of natural resources.

The candidate believes selling off companies will help fight government corruption – one of the focuses of Operation Car Wash, a massive corruption investigation.

Mr Bolsonaro was stabbed on the campaign trail, drawing intense media attention to him and what are seen by many as his divisive policies.

The ‘least worst’ candidate

Katy Watson, BBC South America correspondent

Jair Bolsonaro expected to win the presidency in this first round, even if the polls said otherwise. “On the 28th October, we can all go to the beach,” he said, as he turned up to vote on Sunday. His supporters had been saying for weeks that their candidate would win this straight out.

Mr Bolsonaro may have soared in the polls recently but Brazilians are going to have to wait another three weeks to find out whether it’ll be him or Fernando Haddad as Brazil’s new leader.

Brazil feels very divided – and fragile. You could feel it when you talked to voters. So many people have told me they would be voting for the “least worst” candidate. On one side, there are those determined never to allow the Workers’ Party to rule again; on the other, those desperately trying not to allow a far-right candidate to rule this young democracy.

A feeling of nervousness hangs over Brazil – and will do for the next few weeks as both candidates ramp up their campaigning once again. The future of Brazil will vary greatly, depending on who eventually wins.

How did the election pass off?

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Supporters of Jair Bolsonaro celebrated outside his home in Rio de Janeiro

Mr Bolsonaro said that he was certain that if there had not been “problems” with the electronic voting system used in Brazil, he would have won outright.

“I am certain that if this hadn’t happened, we would have known the name of the president of the republic tonight.”

He did not specify what he thought those “problems” were.

Brazil’s electoral authorities have said the vote went ahead peacefully and without any major problems.

What are Bolsonaro’s policies?

Brazilians will have to choose between two very different candidates on 28 October.

Mr Bolsonaro, a Roman Catholic, won the support of many evangelical Christians by saying he would defend traditional family values. He has also won over many Brazilians who think his law-and-order stance will make Brazil safer.

On the eve of Sunday’s vote, he said that his government would hand down the tough punishments offenders deserved. He is also in favour of relaxing gun ownership laws and has spoken of torture as a legitimate practice. He also wants to restore the death penalty.

In his victory speech, broadcast live on Facebook and uploaded on to Twitter, he said there were two paths Brazilians could follow.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Bolsonaro did not turn up at the hotel where he was expected to give a news conference but spoke on Facebook Live instead

“[There is] the path of prosperity, liberty. family, on God’s side… and the other one is that of Venezuela,” he said referring to Brazil’s socialist-led neighbour, a country mired in a deep economic and political crisis which has driven more than two million people to leave.

“We can’t take another step to the left!” he urged voters. “We can’t go fraternising with socialism or communism,” he said.

He acknowledged that a lot of criticism had been levelled against him but vowed to “unite the [Brazilian] people”.

“Together we will be a great nation,” he said.

What does Haddad advocate?

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Fernando Haddad was visibly relieved that there would be a second round

He has portrayed himself as a trusted candidate for those who baulk at Mr Bolsonaro’s style and rhetoric.

After reaching the second round, he said he and the Workers’ Party would “only use arguments, we don’t use any guns”.

Referring to Mr Bolsonaro’s lead, he said he felt “challenged by the results, which alert us to the risks Brazilian democracy is facing”.

“We need to approach this with a sense of responsibility,” he told his cheering supporters. “We want to unite the democrats of this country, to reduce inequality and to achieve social justice.”

He said he and his party had been presented with “a golden opportunity” by making it into the second round.

source

Station

I really liked the strip where she was talking about how being trans doesn’t mean she needs to buy into the forever sweet and passive BS version of femininity and that she CAN be a female, trans AND an asshole.

It’s so HARD to reject that BS even when you recognise how harmful it can be. I can only imagine that it’s even harder for trans women, who (a) apparently STILL need to perform hyper-femininity to get taken seriously by professionals and access medical services to physically transition, (b) thanks to our awful society have even more reason than most women to at least sometimes want to blur silently into the background, (c) have spent some portion of their lives being told that they are not female, which must build extra internal pressure to embrace all aspects which can be spun as being female, even the cruddier ones. And she’s what, 19? She has her head more together than a lot of people twice her age.

So yeah, she’s being an asshole. It’s delaying plot from happening. It’s irritating. If she doesn’t knock it off soon it’ll cross over into bullying territory and that really isn’t OK.

But it’s still kinda awesome that she’s comfortable being such an asshole.

Dumbing of Age

Brett Kavanaugh confirmation: Victory for Trump in Supreme Court battle

Brett Kavanaugh, watched by his family, is administered the judicial oath by Justice Anthony Kennedy Image copyright US Supreme Court
Image caption Brett Kavanaugh, surrounded by his family, was administered the judicial oath by outgoing justice Anthony Kennedy

President Donald Trump’s controversial nominee for the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh, has been sworn in following weeks of rancorous debate.

The Senate earlier backed his nomination by 50 votes to 48.

Mr Kavanaugh had been embroiled in a bitter battle to stave off claims of sexual assault, which he denies.

But after an 11th-hour investigation by the FBI into the allegations, enough wavering senators decided to support the nomination.

His confirmation hands Mr Trump a political victory ahead of key mid-term elections in November.

Before the vote, hundreds of people protested against Mr Kavanaugh’s nomination at the US Capitol in Washington.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionThe moment Vice President Mike Pence announces Brett Kavanaugh’s win

During the vote, other protesters shouted “shame” from the public gallery and Vice-President Mike Pence had to call for order to be restored.

Mr Kavanaugh’s appointment is for life and he will strengthen conservative control of the nine-judge court, which has the final say on US law.

The 53 year old was sworn in on Saturday evening in a private ceremony at the Supreme Court. Chief Justice John Roberts administered the constitutional oath and retired justice Anthony Kennedy – whom Mr Kavanaugh is replacing – administered the judicial oath.

Protesters had gathered outside the court and at one point some ran up the steps and banged on its ornate doors. Other demonstrators climbed on the nearby statue of justice.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Protesters sat on the statue of justice outside the Supreme Court

What has Mr Trump said?

He sent out a tweet of congratulations:

Later he spoke to reporters aboard Air Force One, saying Mr Kavanaugh had withstood a “horrible attack by the Democrats” and that women were “outraged” at what had happened to the nominee.

Mr Trump also said he was “100% certain” that the woman who had accused Mr Kavanaugh of sexual assault, Christine Blasey Ford, had named the wrong person.

So what were the numbers in the Senate?

The upper house is split 51-49 in favour of the Republicans and the vote was largely along party lines. In the end, there was indeed a two-vote margin, the closest nomination vote since 1881.

The only party dissenters were Republican Senator Lisa Murkowski, who had intended to vote no, and Democrat Joe Manchin, who voted yes.

That should have meant a 51-49 tally, but the absence of Republican Steve Daines, a yes voter who was at his daughter’s wedding, altered the final figures.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionDonald Trump’s nominee has been embroiled in a bitter battle over sexual assault allegations.

Ms Murkowski opted instead to simply mark herself as “present”, leaving the final vote 50-48.

What was said in the Senate?

In their final summations, the two Senate party leaders reflected how bitter the divide had become.

Minority Democrat leader Chuck Schumer said Mr Kavanaugh did not belong on the bench as he had “obscured his views to the American people”, “repeatedly misled the Senate” and delivered one of the “bitterest and most partisan testimonies ever presented by a nominee”.

He also said Mr Trump had “stooped to new depths” in mocking the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption The decision of Susan Collins to vote yes helped sway the final tally

Mr Schumer said that for all those who opposed the nomination, “there is one answer – vote” in the November mid-term elections.

Majority Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Mr Kavanaugh was a “serious scholar, a brilliant student of the law and a meticulous and dedicated public servant”.

He said events had “strained our basic principles of fairness and justice” and that the vote showed the Senate was “an institution where evidence and facts matter”.

He spoke of “intimidation by the mob” and said the Senate vote should be one “to turn away from darkness”.

Ms Murkowski had earlier said that although Mr Kavanaugh was a “good man”, he was “not the right person for the court at this time” and his “appearance of impropriety has become unavoidable”.

Joe Manchin is facing a difficult re-election campaign in West Virginia, a traditionally Republican state that Mr Trump won by a landslide. He said he “found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist”.

There were shouts of “shame” from the public gallery as he voted yes.

Two Republican waverers, Susan Collins and Jeff Flake, finally decided to back the judge.

Analysis: Just the beginning

By Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America reporter

Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court has been decided. The political war, however, is just beginning.

Donald Trump’s court pick generated a controversy that captured the nation’s attention in a way that few political issues do. It generated daily headlines rivalled only by the US quadrennial presidential elections.

Now that the bombs have been thrown, it’s time to assess the fallout.

Read more from Anthony

Why is the court so important?

Basically, it’s the final arbiter of US law.

It has the ultimate say on such contentious issues as abortion and gun control.

The Democrats are still smarting from the previous Supreme Court appointment. Republicans last year successfully stalled the process, meaning it fell to Mr Trump, not Barack Obama, to nominate the new justice. Mr Trump’s choice of Neil Gorsuch strengthened the conservative leaning.

All eyes will now be on November’s mid-term elections. Mr Trump will be able to campaign on the back of an important victory, but commentators will be watching closely how the Kavanaugh affair affects women voters.

source

Healing

Well, it’s not the worst superpower ever, but is “having nicknames ready to go for everyone” the lamest superpower ever?

I’m trying to remember the nicknames she bestowed, but this is one of those searches for which tags aren’t particularly effective. These are what I’ve been able to recall/find:

Danny: Wonderbread
Joyce: Blue Eyes
Jason: Bow Tie

Others?

Dumbing of Age

Brett Kavanaugh: Key senators back embattled Supreme Court choice

Brett Kavanaugh Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mr Kavanaugh’s confirmation process has been one of the most contentious for years

Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court seat looks all but confirmed after he won the backing of key senators despite an FBI investigation into sexual assault allegations.

Republican Senator Susan Collins and Joe Manchin, a Democrat, both indicated their backing for the judge on Friday.

Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation would tilt America’s highest court in favour of conservatives.

The court has the final say on issues such as abortion and gun control.

A final vote on whether Judge Kavanaugh will join the nine-member panel is scheduled for Saturday. If confirmed, the position is for life.

Hours before the undecided senators indicated their backing, the US Senate narrowly advanced President Donald Trump’s nominee to a final vote by voting to strictly limit debate on the issue.

Friday’s “cloture” vote – 51-49 in favour – was a test of support for the embattled nominee who has faced allegations of sexual misconduct from three women, including Prof Christine Blasey Ford.

What did the senators say?

Senator Collins ended hopes she would side with Democrats in the final vote, telling fellow senators she did not believe the “charges can fairly prevent Judge Kavanaugh from serving on the court”.

“The facts presented do not mean that Professor Ford was not sexually assaulted that night or at some other time but they do lead me to conclude that the allegations failed to meet the more likely than not standard,” she said.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionCollins: I vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh

Senator Manchin, who is up for re-election in West Virginia, a traditionally Republican state that Mr Trump won by a landslide, told the Senate moments later he “found Judge Kavanaugh to be a qualified jurist who will follow the constitution and determine cases based on the legal findings before him”.

What has the reaction been?

The reaction has been swift, with former president George HW Bush and White House press secretary Sarah Sanders both tweeting their support for Ms Collins.

Mr Manchin, however, has found himself in the firing line.

A liberal group which raises money for Democratic candidates, Priorities USA, immediately said it would not be giving any funds to his re-election campaign.

Outside, protesters shouted “shame on you” as Mr Manchin spoke to reporters about his decision.

Meanwhile, a tweet asking someone to run for Senator Collins’s seat in Maine when it comes up for re-election in 2020 from former White House communication chief, Jen Psaki, had a swift response from former UN ambassador Susan Rice.

She later clarified she was “not making any announcements” but was “deeply disappointed in Senator Collins’s vote for Kavanaugh”.

Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski – a Republican who voted against the nomination earlier on Friday – is yet to officially say which way she will vote on Saturday.

However, former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin tweeted she could “see 2022 from my house”, suggesting Senator Murkowski would face a fight for her seat at the next election should she not side with her Republican colleagues in the vote to confirm Judge Kavanaugh.

Analysis: Just the beginning

By Anthony Zurcher, BBC North America reporter

Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court is all but certain. The Republican Party has the votes and the battle appears over. The political war, however, is just beginning.

Donald Trump’s court pick generated a controversy that captured the nation’s attention in a way that few political issues do. It generated daily headlines rivalled only by the US quadrennial presidential elections.

Now that the bombs have been thrown, it’s time to assess the fallout.

Read more from Anthony

What was the FBI inquiry about?

In public testimony last week Prof Ford said she had been assaulted by Judge Kavanaugh when they were both teenagers in 1982.

Judge Kavanaugh denied the claim – and allegations that he drank to the point of memory loss at the time – in a feisty confrontation with senators.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionChristine Blasey Ford said she was “100%” sure Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her

After the testimony, President Trump agreed to a new FBI inquiry.

Federal agents are believed to have spoken to five witnesses regarding Prof Ford’s accusations and another four other witnesses involving a separate accusation by Deborah Ramirez, who said the nominee had exposed himself to her when they were both at Yale University. He denies Ms Ramirez’s allegations, too.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionFeinstein and McConnell have very different views on the FBI report

Mr Trump and his fellow Republicans said the new FBI report had cleared their nominee.

But Democratic senators said it had been incomplete.

The lawyers of both women have also complained that several witnesses they had offered to the FBI to corroborate their claims had not been contacted at all.

source

Brett Kavanaugh: Hundreds arrested in Supreme Court protest

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionProtesters take to Capitol Hill

Hundreds of protesters against US President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have been arrested in Washington, DC.

Comedian Amy Schumer and model Emily Ratajkowski were among 302 women held for demonstrating against the nominee.

Republicans earlier declared an FBI report had exonerated him of sexual assault allegations.

But Democrats said the five-day inquiry was “incomplete” because it was limited by the White House.

The Senate will hold a procedural vote on the nominee on Friday.

The likelihood of Judge Kavanaugh winning a full Senate vote appeared to increase on Thursday after two Republicans whose backing will be essential gave a positive account of the FBI inquiry.

But the confirmation is not a certainty, with several senators undecided and one at risk of missing a vote because he is attending his daughter’s wedding.

If confirmed to the lifetime position on America’s highest court, the 53-year-old is expected to help conservatives dominate the nine-member panel, which has the final say on issues such as abortion, gun control and voting rules.

As the vote neared, the judge defended his neutrality in a Wall Street Journal editorial titled, “I am an independent, impartial judge”.

Addressing his angry testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, where he branded the allegations against him an “orchestrated political hit”, he wrote: “I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said.”

What happened at the protests?

Thousands of mainly female demonstrators marched through the nation’s capital on Thursday, starting at the appeals court where Judge Kavanaugh currently presides.

They converged on Capitol Hill and held a rally outside the Supreme Court, chanting: “Kavanaugh has got to go!”

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Comedian Amy Schumer (C) joins the protest on Capitol Hill

Police rounded the protesters up in a Senate office building after they sat down and refused to budge.

There was another protest in front of Trump Tower in New York City.

What was the reaction to the FBI report?

President Trump and his fellow Republicans declared the FBI report had cleared their nominee, as they sounded increasingly confident Judge Kavanaugh would win confirmation.

Senators said the FBI had spoken to five witnesses connected to accusations by Christine Blasey Ford, who alleges a drunken Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her in 1982.

Federal agents are also said to have spoken to four other witnesses involving a separate accusation by Deborah Ramirez, who claims the nominee exposed himself to her when they were both were at Yale University. He denies both allegations.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionFeinstein and McConnell have very different views on the FBI report

“This investigation found no hint of misconduct,” Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Chuck Grassley said in a statement.

Senate Republicans plan a procedural “cloture” vote at 10:30 on Friday (14:30 GMT), which is required to move to a final vote, scheduled on Saturday at around 17:30 (21:30 GMT).

But Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein said the FBI report was “the product of an incomplete investigation”, saying key corroborating witnesses had been snubbed. Another Democratic Senator, Richard Blumenthal, told reporters it was a “whitewash”.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Anti-Kavanaugh protesters rally outside the US Supreme Court

White House spokesman Raj Shah said: “What critics want is a never-ending fishing expedition into high school drinking.”

One Republican Senator, John Cornyn, raised eyebrows by telling his party this was “our Atticus Finch moment”, a reference to the lawyer in classic novel To Kill A Mockingbird who refutes a false rape allegation.

What did undecided senators say?

Given that Republicans have a razor-thin 51-49 margin of control in the Senate, the party can potentially only afford one defection if it wants to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, assuming Democrats vote the same way.

His nomination has been at the mercy of three wavering senators, but two of those – Jeff Flake and Susan Collins – appeared to respond positively to the FBI report.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media caption‘Ford is a liar’: Trump supporters’ unequivocal backing for Kavanaugh

Another wavering Republican senator, Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, reportedly met sexual assault survivors in her office on Thursday.

Complicating matters, the office of Republican Steve Daines said he was planning to attend his daughter’s wedding in Montana on Saturday – meaning he might not be around to vote, or that the vote may be held open until he can return to take part.

Another Republican, Cory Gardner, who previously said he would back Judge Kavanaugh, is yet to decide how he will vote, the Denver Post reported.

A previously undecided Democratic Senator, Heidi Heitkamp, said she would vote against Judge Kavanaugh, citing “concerns about his past conduct”.

And Senator Joe Manchin of West Virginia, the only Democrat who remains undecided, said he would finish reading the FBI report on Friday morning.

source

Hey

Oh, I am not going to take that away from him. This is unusual for him, given how he has avoided conflict to his detriment a lot, like cowing to his mom.

I do wonder if, well, hooking up with Mike has been good for his confidence, or if he otherwise would take this step.

Dumbing of Age

Brett Kavanaugh: Senate to get FBI report within hours

Judge Brett Kavanaugh testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary committee on September 27, 2018 Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Senators will shortly receive the FBI’s report on Judge Brett Kavanaugh

The US Senate is expected to receive an FBI report on allegations of sexual misconduct against President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, Brett Kavanaugh, in the next few hours.

Its conclusions will not be made public, but Senators will be able to review the report on Thursday.

Republicans and Democrats remain bitterly divided on whether to approve Mr Kavanaugh as a Supreme Court judge.

The judge has vehemently denied all allegations against him.

What are the allegations?

Last week Professor Christine Blasey Ford testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that Mr Kavanaugh and another man had assaulted her when they were teenagers in the 1980s.

Another woman, Deborah Ramirez, has accused Judge Kavanaugh of exposing himself to her during a drinking game when they were students at Yale University in the 1980s.

After Prof Ford’s testimony the Senate panel approved Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination but asked for the FBI to conduct further inquiry before the full Senate votes on his appointment to America’s top court.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionChristine Blasey Ford said she was “100%” sure Brett Kavanaugh assaulted her

However the FBI is not looking at allegations made by a third woman, Julie Swetnick, that Mr Kavanaugh was involved in the drugging and sexual assault of girls at house parties in the 1980s. He has described Ms Swetnick’s allegation as a “joke”.

What’s at stake?

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants a final Senate vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination on Saturday.

If he joins the Supreme Court, Judge Kavanaugh, 53, would be expected to tilt its ideological balance in favour of conservatives.

The court’s nine justices are appointed for life and have the final say on some of the most contentious issues in US public life, from abortion, to gun control, to voting laws.

What’s in the report?

Senators are not meant to reveal what the FBI report says, but it remains to be seen whether that secrecy will hold.

The report will be in paper format only and no copies will be made. It will be held in a secure room in the basement of the Capitol building, known as a Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility, or Skif, AP reported.

Committee chairman Chuck Grassley will see it at 08:00 local time (12:00 GMT) and ranking Democrat Diane Feinstein will see it at 09:00, NBC reported. After that, the Republican committee members will see it at 10:00 and the Democrats at 11:00.

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media captionMr Trump cast doubt on Prof Ford’s credibility

Reuters reported that investigators spoke to Ms Ramirez for more than two hours on Sunday, and that she provided a list of more than 20 possible witnesses.

However, lawyers for his first accuser, Prof Ford, said that she had not been contacted by the agency.

Democrats have raised concerns that the investigation has been too narrow in scope, and that key witnesses have been omitted.

Will Kavanaugh be confirmed?

Mr Kavanaugh’s confirmation depends on Republican Senators voting strictly along party lines.

The party has only a 51-49 Senate majority. That means that if all Democrats vote against confirming Mr Kavanaugh, Republicans can only afford one defection – since in a tie, Vice-President Mike Pence would get the casting vote.

Three Republican Senators – Jeff Flake, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski – are being closely watched, as they have not yet said how they will vote.

The three senators criticised Mr Trump after he mocked Prof Ford at a rally on Tuesday for not recalling some details of the alleged assault. They described the president’s remarks as “appalling”, “inappropriate” and “just plain wrong”.

Two Democrats, Joe Manchin of West Virginia, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota, are also yet to declare their intentions.

President Trump has consistently backed Mr Kavanaugh, tweeting late on Wednesday that he was a “fine man”.

In contrast to the president’s enthusiasm, a coalition of US Christian churches with 40 million worshippers has urged Mr Kavanaugh to withdraw his nomination.

The National Council of Churches said in a statement that he had shown “extreme partisan bias” during his testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, and lacked the temperament to be a Supreme Court judge.

source

Growth

I maintain that the only problem is we didn’t enforce the “Well-Regulated Militia”. in my dream world, where money is no object, firearm ownership and purchase of ammunition requires maintained certification:yearly training, marksmanship expectations, examinations on proper maintenance and current state and federal ordinances. These courses would be held twice monthly, and attendance of the training course would count as civil service like jury duty so your work can’t punish you for missing a shift or three. The initiate course would drive out every Hollywood misconception about firearms, and there would be a seperate refresher course for returning applicants.

If you fail, your weapons would be sealed in a case as “Collector’s Items” until such time as you pass.

Dumbing of Age

Kavanaugh investigation: FBI ‘hasn’t spoken to Christine Blasey Ford’

Media playback is unsupported on your device

Media caption‘Brett put his hand over my mouth to stop me yelling’

The FBI team examining sexual misconduct claims against US Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh have not yet interviewed his main accuser, her lawyers have said.

Writing to the FBI, attorneys for Professor Christine Blasey Ford said it was “inconceivable” that the agency could conduct a thorough investigation without interviewing her.

Prof Ford has testified that Mr Kavanaugh assaulted her as a teenager.

The judge vehemently denies that.

In a letter written on Tuesday to FBI director Christopher Wray and FBI general counsel Dana Boente, Prof Ford’s lawyers noted that it was five days since the fresh background check was launched.

They said the agency had not responded to the offer to interview Prof Ford, or “a series of emails and letters in which we identified witnesses and evidence that would likely assist the FBI”.

The letter went on: “This afternoon, we learned of media reports that the FBI does not intend to interview either Dr Ford or Judge Kavanaugh. We hope that this reporting is inaccurate.”

FBI ‘could finish investigation early’

The lawyers’ concerns emerged amid reports that the FBI could wind up its investigation well before the deadline of this Friday.

Citing unnamed Republican aides, the Wall Street Journal reported that the bureau could finish “as soon as” Wednesday.

The FBI is known to have interviewed Mark Judge, a boyhood friend of Judge Kavanaugh’s, whom Prof Ford said was in the room when she was assaulted. Mr Judge told the Senate Judiciary Committee in a written statement that he did not recall any such incident – but he was not asked to testify in person.

The agency has also spoken to the judge’s Yale classmate Deborah Ramirez, who alleges that he exposed his genitals in her face during a college drinking game.

President Trump reiterated his support for Mr Kavanaugh on Tuesday, saying he believed the Senate would approve the judge.

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Tuesday, Mr Trump said: “My whole life I’ve heard, ‘you’re innocent until proven guilty’, but now you’re guilty until proven innocent. That’s a very, very difficult standard.

“It’s a very scary time for young men in America when you can be guilty of something that you may not be guilty of.”

At a rally later in Southaven, Mississippi, Mr Trump mocked last week’s Senate testimony by Prof Christine Blasey Ford, without mentioning her by name.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption President Trump said Judge Kavanaugh’s life is “in tatters”

The audience laughed as the president said: “Thirty-six years ago this happened: I had one beer! Well, you think it was…? Nope! It was one beer.

“Oh, good. How’d you get home? I don’t remember. How’d you get there? I don’t remember. Where was the place? I don’t remember.

“How many years ago was it? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know! I don’t know! What neighbourhood was it in? I don’t know.

“Where’s the house? I don’t know! Upstairs, downstairs, where was it? I don’t know! But I had one beer. That’s the only thing I remember. And a man’s life is in tatters.”

What will happen to the FBI report?

The FBI will pass its findings to the White House, which will give them to the Senate. The contents are not expected to be made public.

Senators will then vote on whether to confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell accused Democrats of trying to derail the nomination on Monday, declaring: “The time for endless delay and obstruction has come to a close.”

Mr McConnell did not specify when exactly the vote would be held, but it is expected to be on Friday or Saturday.

Dianne Feinstein, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, has said Friday would be too soon. She argued that senators need more time to evaluate the FBI’s findings.

source