On today's BradCast, what else? The FBI's sham "investigation" of Kavanaugh and news of great note regarding the November midterm elections. [Audio link to show follows below.]
The FBI's supplemental background report on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh was released on Thursday morning. Just one copy was made available to U.S. Senators only. It received much criticism from Senate Democrats and much approval from Senate Republicans who couldn't even have possibly read it by the time they were lauding it. The release comes on the heels of the National Council of Churches calling for Kavanaugh's nomination to be withdrawn "immediately", and more than 2,400 law professors (and counting) signing onto a statement seeking the same. Nonetheless, even before the "White House Whitewash" of a report was even released, Republicans scheduled a final floor vote on the confirmation of the most partisan, dishonest nominee the nation has likely ever seen.
Even 98-year old retired Justice John Paul Stevens, appointed by Republican President Gerald Ford and who lauded Kavanaugh in a 2014 book, announced he is now opposing his confirmation following his angry and partisan testimony last week in the Senate Judiciary Committee in response to multiple sexual assault allegations. Justice Steven suggested --- as the churches and law professors did --- that Kavanaugh has proven he lacks the appropriate judicial temperament for a lifetime appointment on the U.S. Supreme Court.
But, even with hundreds of anti-Kavanaugh protesters descending on the Senate today, the only thing that ultimately matters will be the votes of five undecided U.S. Senators. One of them, Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who faces a tight re-election contest in Trump-leaning North Dakota in November, announced on Thursday she is a "No" on Kavanaugh. The others, Jeff Flake (R-AZ), Susan Collins (R-ME), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Joe Manchin (D-WV) have yet to commit, though Flake and Collins said on Thursday they found the FBI investigation --- which failed to interviewdozens of witnesses, including Kavanaugh himself and his first accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford --- to offer no new corroboration to the allegations against the nominee. Collins says she found it to be "very thorough". Manchin, who, according to polling, is comfortably ahead of his Republican opponent this November --- even in state Trump won by 42 points in 2016 --- is reportedly "leaning 'Yes'" on Kavanaugh.
If all Dems vote against and just two Republicans join them, the confirmation will be killed. The first procedural vote, to invoke cloture and move to the final vote, is scheduled for tomorrow.
In the meantime, the divisive issue has helped fuel enthusiasm for the crucial November midterms by both Democrats and Republicans, according to new polling, which also finds younger voters far less likely to vote this year, sadly. The Democrats' hoped-for "blue wave" may rest on turnout of young voters, and may not be quite as certain as many believe, particularly with obstacles preventing voters from registering (the deadline for doing so comes up this weekend in many key states), from voting and from having votes verifiably counted as cast.
While last week's National Voter Registration Day was an unexpected success, thousands of citizens who registered to vote in Texas via the non-profit Vote.org will not be added to the rolls, according to a new report. That could be troubling news for a number of races in the Lone Star state, not the least of which is the contest between GOP Senator Ted Cruz and his surging Democratic challenger Beto O'Rourke.
Finally today, Desi Doyen joins us for the latest Green News Report, with news on Big Oil's big win in the new NAFTA, several Category 5 storms spinning at the same time in the Pacific, a new record low for Arctic sea ice, and the big news of Tesla's Big Battery which is a big hit for South Australia's power grid...
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With the story about the 2012 hit job against NJ's Democratic Sen. Robert Menendez back in the news, it seems a good time to remind folks about the clown, Matthew Boyle, who originally wrote the now-discredited article breaking the fake "news" at Tucker Carlson's The Daily Caller.
We had a run-in with Boyle in 2011, posted below, that may give you an idea of just how this pretend journalist sources his stories --- or doesn't.
For those who may not recall, Boyle wrote a story for The DC, just before the 2012 election, claiming that Menendez had been enjoying the services of Dominican hookers while on a number of vacations down there. The supposed hookers were featured in a video including with Boyle's original reporting, claiming that they hadn't been paid properly by Menendez and were seeking revenge...or something.
The whole story turned out to be phony and was eventually pulled off line by Carlson's "news" site. The women on the video admitted they had been paid by someone to make their claims, and not long thereafter Boyle left The Daily Caller. He is now a featured "investigative journalist" at the even less credible Rightwing "news" site (if there can be such a thing), Breitbart.com.
The Menendez story has resurfaced once again, as the Washington Post ran an exclusive this week, claiming that an unnamed government source had evidence that the entire matter was a hit job planted by Cuban intelligence agents, intended to hurt Menendez just before the election, as the Senator is reportedly an ardent opponent of Cuban and was set to chair the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. WaPo claims that someone identifying themselves as "Pete Williams" had been shopping the story around to a bunch of media outlets, unsuccessfully, until Boyle was happy to fall for it at The Daily Caller. So-called "Pete Williams," WaPo reports, was actually a front for a Cuban agent.
Boyle now claims that he worked "with a wide array of sources in reporting on the story" originally, and that "there were no indications that they were connected to or working for the Cuban government." He also claims that the "Pete Williams" character "was not a source for the original story and never provided non-public information to this reporter."
But Boyle claims a lot of things. And the problem is, he appears to simply make shit up out of whole cloth as needed to defend his crappy "reporting". That point became pretty clear during a conversation I had with Boyle on Twitter back in 2011, in response to another terribly sourced story that he had run that day at The DC...