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From WRAL, reprinting from the New York Times:

From the Anonymity of Academia to the Center of a Supreme Court Confirmation
Posted 8:40 p.m. yesterday

By Elizabeth Williamson, Rebecca R. Ruiz, Emily Steel, Grace Ashford and Steve Eder, New York Times

The text message from Christine Blasey Ford this summer worried her college best friend, Catherine Piwowarski.

Over their years of friendship — as roommates, bridesmaids and parents on opposite coasts — Dr. Blasey wanted to know, had she ever confided that she had been sexually assaulted in high school?

No, Piwowarski said she texted back, she would have remembered that, and was everything OK? Blasey didn’t want to speak in detail quite yet, her friend recalled her responding. “I don’t know why she was asking that or what it ultimately meant or didn’t mean,” Piwowarski said in an interview, but she remembers thinking that the question betrayed deep turmoil.

That was about a month before Blasey, a research psychologist, came forward with her allegation that Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, sexually assaulted her more than three decades ago when they were high school students in the Washington suburbs.

So this isn’t promising for the Democrats: the woman whom the NYT calls the accuser’s “college best friend” did not have an inkling about any sexual assault in high school, much less that the purported perp was a possible GOP Supreme Court nominee until she got a text message from her friend of 30+ years a few months ago.

So far, nobody credible has come forward to offer any supporting validation. The woman who did go on NPR to talk about how she had heard all about it back in high school immediately collapsed in a heap, probably worried about getting a subpoena.

That lack of evidence is especially striking considering how favorable the political climate is for this kind of accusation. From the same article:

Twenty-three members of Blasey’s class at Holton-Arms signed a joint letter sent to Congress this week, calling for “due consideration” of her claims. Another letter is signed by more than 1,000 alumnae, dating back to the class of 1948. When Guerry circulated the letter from the class of 1984, she found that Blasey’s story resonated deeply. “I was very much surprised by how many of my classmates wrote back to say to say they had traumatic experiences in high school,” she said. “When they heard Christine’s story, it struck a chord for them.”

The NYT goes on to report a salacious story involving somebody else and somebody else.

But none of these 1,000 has gone public with any dirt on Kavanaugh. The best the NYT could come up with by yesterday was:

After the alleged attack on Blasey, a male friend said, she “fell off the face of the earth socially,” failing to appear at parties and events she’d previously attended. “All I remember is after my junior year thinking, ‘Where’s Chrissy Blasey?’” he recalled.

“She was the sort of person a lot of people paid attention to — she was a leader, she was great. I was like, where did she go?”

That might be evidence of something, or it could be just like the much repeated report in Sabrina Rubin Erdely “A Rape on Campus” classic from Jackie Coakley’s roommate at UVA that Jackie got really depressed, presumably due to Haven Monahan and all the shattered glass.

This has somewhat different flavor, though, than the Jackie-Sabrina fiasco. If you listen to the recorded conversation between the two, one striking feature is how the coed is the dominant personality of the two. Erdely, the older woman, is kind of nerdish, while Coakley is brassy and brazen. She picks up on Erdely’s theories and wholeheartedly amplifies them with over the top confabulations.

Blasey-Ford doesn’t seem very similar at all.

On the other hand, the Democrats may have a witness or two stashed away. It would be pretty incompetent of them not to have something in reserve. Furthermore, that GOP operative’s scheme of blaming it on a classmate of Kavanaugh could backfire by giving somebody else an incentive to pin the blame on Kavanaugh.

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The elite nervous breakdown accelerates. From NBC News:

Yale Law dean: Reports that professor groomed female clerks for Kavanaugh ‘of enormous concern’

Yale Law School Dean Heather Gerken wrote that she wanted to “address the press reports today regarding allegations of faculty misconduct.”

by Adam Edelman and Kasie Hunt / Sep.20.2018 / 3:06 PM PDT

The dean of Yale Law School on Thursday responded to reports that a prominent professor at the school had advised students seeking judicial clerkships with Brett Kavanaugh on their physical looks, saying the reported allegations of faculty misconduct are “of enormous concern” and calling on anyone affected to come forward.

According to reports in The Guardian, the Huffington Post and Above the Law, Amy Chua, a professor at the law school, would advise students on their physical appearance if they wanted to seek a clerkship for Kavanaugh. Specifically, Chua would help potential applicants to have a “model-like” appearance. …

Yale has not specified what the misconduct might be. …

Chua, who is perhaps best known for being the author of a 2011 book “Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother,” wrote a July op-ed for The Wall Street Journal titled “Kavanaugh Is a Mentor To Women.”

In it, she wrote that she’d helped place 10 Yale Law School students — eight of them women — as clerks with Kavanaugh, including her own daughter, whose clerkship had been set to begin in August. “I can’t think of a better judge for my own daughter’s clerkship,” she wrote.

Clearly, Professor Chua is pimping out her own daughter! There’s some kind of rightwing satanic sex cult at Yale Law School. How did they miss this back in the 1980s? It is as bad as McMartin Preschool and Pizzagate!

The White House had no immediate comment on the Yale dean’s letter.

In an emailed statement to NBC News, Chua said: “For the more than 10 years I’ve known him, Judge Kavanaugh’s first and only litmus test in hiring has been excellence. He hires only the most qualified clerks, and they have been diverse as well as exceptionally talented and capable.

“There is good reason so many of them have gone on to Supreme Court clerkships; he only hires those who are extraordinarily qualified. As I wrote in the Wall Street Journal, he has also been an exceptional mentor to his female clerks and a champion of their careers. Among my proudest moments as a parent was the day I learned our daughter would join those ranks.”

Seriously, judging from comments on my blog from ex-students of her’s, Professor Chua is a really nice person who goes the extra mile to help her students. The notion that she would advise her students on what to wear to job interviews is neither implausible nor scandalous.

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Oh, yes he does. It’s a not very well known true fact that little Paulie Krugman, from the wrong side of the tracks in Long Island, had to work his way through Yale by caddying for the rich kids twosome of Brett Kavanaugh and Haven Monahan. Monsters in their personal lives, they forced little Paulie to kick their golf balls out from behind trees.

If you don’t believe me, just ask the Glass Brothers.

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It appears that an unfolding GOP strategy in the Kavanaugh Kase is to blame by name a specific guy who looks much like Kavanaugh. Rather than use his name at present, I will call him, uh, … Haven Monahan Sr.

That would let the GOP sort of get around the problem of Not Believing the Woman in the #MeToo Era, while also getting Kavanaugh off.

But, uh, aren’t there potential downsides to dragging Haven Monahan’s name into this? Has the statute of limitations run out in Maryland? Doesn’t this give Haven much motivation to dish dirt on his old buddy Brett? Or is Haven all set and onboard with this strategy?

(But perhaps Democrats will go for this idea of a multigenerational Monahan family nefariously causing all the scandals: It’s in the tainted Monahan blood. Look at who is trying to take down the saintly Keith Ellison!)

In late breaking news, another suspect has been identified: George Glass. If you spot Mr. Glass, please notify Senator Diane Feinstein immediately.

Perhaps not coincidentally, George Glass is the older brother of Stephen Glass, who mentored Sabrina Rubin Erdely at the U. of Pennsylvania student newspaper before enjoying a spectacular career at The New Republic in the 1990s.

If you don’t believe me, just ask the Glass Brothers: they’ll tell you.

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From NPR:

Kavanaugh Accuser’s Classmate: ‘That It Happened Or Not, I Have No Idea’
September 20, 2018 7:57 AM ET
Domenico Montanaro – 2015

A former classmate of Christine Blasey Ford tells NPR that she does not know if an alleged sexual assault by Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh took place as she first suggested on social media.

“That it happened or not, I have no idea,” Cristina King Miranda told NPR’s Nina Totenberg. “I can’t say that it did or didn’t.”

That’s different from what Miranda wrote Wednesday in a now-deleted Facebook post that stated definitively, “The incident DID happen, many of us heard about it in school.”…

“In my [Facebook] post, I was empowered and I was sure it probably did [happen],” Miranda told NPR. “I had no idea that I would now have to go to the specifics and defend it before 50 cable channels and have my face spread all over MSNBC news and Twitter.”

Miranda noted on Twitter that she did not have “first hand knowledge” of the incident.

To all media, I will not be doing anymore interviews. No more circus. To clarify my post: I do not have first hand knowledge of the incident that Dr. Christine Blasey Ford mentions, and I stand by my support for Christine. That’s it. I don’t have more to say on the subject.

— Cristina King Miranda (@reinabori) September 19, 2018

Miranda said staff from the Senate Judiciary Committee had reached out to her, something she was not expecting. She said she will not go through with a committee interview if asked.

Miranda says she played soccer with Ford — whom she refers to as Chrissy — in high school and that she continues to support her. Miranda added that despite not knowing specifics of what went on at the party three decades ago, she remembers that there was a “buzz” that went around possibly on a weekend about the party where an alleged incident involving students from her school and Kavanaugh’s took place.

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From the NYT:

How Connected Is Your Community to Everywhere Else in America?

America is often described as a place of great divides — between red and blue, big cities and rural towns, the coasts and the heartland. But our social lives are shaped by a much stronger force that ignores many of these lines: distance.

In the millions of ties on Facebook that connect relatives, co-workers, classmates and friends, Americans are far more likely to know people nearby than in distant communities that share their politics or mirror their demographics. The dominant picture in data analyzed by economists at Facebook, Harvard, Princeton and New York University is not that like-minded places are linked; rather, people in counties close to one another are.

Here’s the academic paper.

Even in the age of the internet, distance matters immensely in determining whom — and, as a result, what — we know.

So, what happens is that there aren’t all that many interesting findings of cross-country links. Here’s one: People in Cook County (Chicago), IL have a lot of Facebook ties to relatives in the Mississippi Delta, due to the Great Migration of Mississippi blacks up the Illinois Central Railroad to Chicago. (There also a Milwaukee-Mississippi connection.)

Screenshot 2018-09-19 22.11.27

A commenter with excellent eye-hand coordination got his cursor on tiny New York County (i.e., Manhattan):

Screenshot 2018-09-20 02.13.58

Lots of connections to Fr. Lauderdale, Rocky Mountain ski towns, midwestern college towns like Ann Arbor and Madison, plus Atlanta, Austin, LA, the Bay Area, and Seattle. A broad connection to the coastal Carolinas: I wonder whether that is people in Manhattan having come from there or going there?

A few other connections are that college towns are connected to each other and so are American Indians:

The Okies of Kern County, CA are connected to Sooners back home in Oklahoma.

Houston is connected to the new oil patch in North Dakota.

But mostly people are connected on Facebook to people in their general vicinity.

One perhaps unexpected finding is that state lines matter to Facebook friends.

Screenshot 2018-09-19 22.27.49

For example, if you pick out random counties in the middle of Iowa, Oklahoma, or Alabama, you can see the outlines of the states.

Screenshot 2018-09-19 22.28.16

There tends to be a sharp falloff in Facebook friends right across the state lines.

Screenshot 2018-09-19 22.28.37

I suspect this is tied to state colleges. People from Alabama are more likely to go to college in Alabama than in Georgia, Mississippi, Kentucky, or Florida. If you live just east of the Alabama-Georgia border, it costs something $100k less to go to the U. of Alabama than to the U. of Georgia.

So they keep up on Facebook with their friends in Alabama. Plus, people in Alabama pay a lot of attention to college football in the two big public colleges, U. of Alabama and Auburn.

- This could also be tied to state government.

- Another possibility is that, all else being equal, people are less likely to move across state lines, perhaps due to sports rooting rivalries. Interestingly, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan is more tied to Green Bay, WI on Facebook than to the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, suggesting that ease of driving and possibly NFL rooting matters more than state government ties.

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Every time there is a hoop-tee-do over a Supreme Court nominee, I trot out my old structural reform suggestion for lowering the stakes.

The way to reform the Supreme Court nomination process is to increase the number of justices from 9 to 11 in the long run, and each new justice gets a single, non-renewable 22-year-term.

Win a presidential election and you get to nominate two justices. That’s fair. And you don’t have to pick extra young ones or Colorado joggers or whatever, just somebody in his or her prime who looks likely to last 22 years. The typical nominee would likely be in his or her early 50s and retire around 75. This would reduce spectacles like Justice Ginsburg trying to outrun the Reaper.

During the transition era, current justices would continue to serve their lifetime terms. This means that the Supreme Court would initially have fewer than 11 justices and then might for awhile have more than 11 while the current justices haven’t died or retired, but eventually things would shake out to 11. (During 2016 and early 2017 the Supreme Court only had 8 justices, and it wasn’t the end of the world.)

To deal with the issue of potential corruption stemming from not having lifetime terms, justices would get $1 million per year lifetime pensions, with strict rules against other sources of post-retirement income.

If a justice died or retired before the end of a 22-year term, the current president would nominate somebody to complete the 22-year term, but the replacement justice would not be eligible for renomination.

This should not take a constitutional amendment, since the number and term of Supreme Court justices is not specified in the Constitution.

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Screenshot 2018-09-19 18.04.06

War is Peace
Freedom is Slavery
Ignorance is Strength

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From the New York Times:

Luigi Cavalli-Sforza, 96, Who Tracked Genes Through History, Dies

By Denise Grady
Sept. 19, 2018

Millions of people in recent years have sent off samples of their saliva to DNA-testing companies like 23andMe and hoping to find out where their forebears came from and whether they have mystery relatives in some distant land, or even around the corner.

The trend itself can be traced to an Italian physician and geneticist, Luigi Luca Cavalli-Sforza, who died on Aug. 31 at his home in Belluno, Italy, at 96. He laid the foundation for such testing, having honed his skills more than 60 years ago using blood types and 300 years of church records to study heredity in the villagers of his own country.

…David Reich, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, said in an interview that Dr. Cavalli-Sforza was the first scientist to predict that there would be “enough information in genes to determine where people came from in the world and who they’re most closely related to.”

“A fair number of reasonable people,” he added, “thought it wouldn’t be possible.”

… Cultural traits and how they spread fascinated him, and late in life he began to study variations in hand gestures in different parts of Italy.

… Overall, the genetic studies revealed, it was the farmers themselves who moved, taking their knowledge of agriculture with them. …

Dr. Cavalli-Sforza also studied genetic changes in the Y chromosome, the determinant of male gender, which is passed from fathers to sons.

It appears that the word “sex” is being phased out of polite society in favor of “gender,” even when discussing the male sex chromosome.

His work, along with that of colleagues, indicated that genetically there is no such thing as race: Individuals within a population group differ genetically from one another just as much as they differ from people in other groups. He denounced efforts to suggest that superficial traits like skin color or hair texture had any underlying connection to intelligence, behavior or character.

But he was kidding, as the maps on the front covers of both versions of his History and Geography of Human Genes show.

In 1973, Dr. Cavalli-Sforza publicly debated William B. Shockley, a Stanford engineering professor who had shared the 1956 Nobel Prize in Physics for inventing the transistor and who had become notorious for declaring that blacks were less intelligent than whites.

“The History and Geography of Human Genes,” a 1,000-page account of where humans originated and where they went, was Dr. Cavalli-Sforza’s masterwork.
Dr. Cavalli-Sforza came under fire from some quarters after proposing, in the 1990s, what he called a Human Genome Diversity Project. …

Although many scientists favored the plan, opponents said it smacked of colonialism, racism and “biopiracy” …

He earned a medical degree from the University of Pavia in 1944. Studying medicine during World War II might have saved his life, he later told colleagues: Italy did not draft medical students.

No mention of what

Dr. Cavalli-Sforza became an assistant professor at the University of Cambridge in Britain in 1948 and worked with Ronald Fisher, a top expert on bacterial genetics and statistics.

Pretty much all roads lead back to Fisher.

… But humans interested him more than bacteria did. A student of his, a priest named Antonio Moroni, told him that Roman Catholic parishes in Italy kept detailed marriage records that went back generations; some included notations of marriages between cousins. Dr. Cavalli-Sforza realized that the records, compiled in books, could be a gold mine. For one thing, the marriages between relatives could reveal the effects of inbreeding. …

From 1966 to 1985 he made 11 trips to Africa to study Pygmies, who were still hunter-gatherers at the time. He later edited and wrote part of a book about them and their culture.

“These people are exactly like me — brothers, really,” he told Dr. Feldman in the video interview. “And yet they were living in such a completely different way.”

His experience with the Pygmies had a profound effect on his thinking, igniting a determination to “understand why cultures can be so different,” he said.

“He was adopted into a Pygmy extended family and was very proud of it,” said Mary-Claire King, a geneticist at the University of Washington. “They gave him a name. He told me it translated as ‘Great White Elephant.’ He just loved living with the Pygmies.”

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From the Seattle Times:

Lynnwood man tried to use a home DNA test to qualify as a minority business owner. He was denied — now he’s suing.

State and federal programs aim to ensure minority-owned businesses can compete for government contracts after generations of institutional discrimination. A Lynnwood man long identified as white is using DNA ethnicity estimates to claim minority status.

By Christine Willmsen

Ralph Taylor says it doesn’t matter what he looks like. Having lived most of his life as a white man, the 55-year-old now considers himself to be multiracial based on DNA test results.

The owner of Orion Insurance Group in Lynnwood also wants the U.S. Department of Transportation to recognize him as a minority so he can gain more deals providing liability insurance to contractors.

Taylor is suing Washington state and the federal government because he was denied a minority-business certification under a program created more than two decades ago to help level the playing field for minority business owners seeking contracts in the transportation industry. He provided no evidence he has suffered socially or economically because of race.

His case is pending with the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

In 2010 Taylor began identifying himself as multiracial after a DNA ancestry test estimated he was 90 percent Caucasian, 6 percent indigenous American and 4 percent sub-Saharan African.

He applied for state certification with the Washington Office of Minority & Women’s Business Enterprises (OMWBE) so Orion Insurance Group would be considered a minority business.

With no criteria defining a minority race or ethnicity, OMWBE eventually approved Taylor. But that same state agency, which also manages the U.S. Department of Transportation certification, decided he was Caucasian under that program’s procedures and denied his application.

Since then Taylor has pursued an unconventional legal path that raises questions about how the government determines who is and who isn’t a minority. Should it matter what a person looks like? Should they have to prove they’ve suffered discrimination? Can DNA tests prove race or ethnicity? And is Taylor taking advantage of a program by basing his identity on DNA results that some experts consider unreliable?

The OMWBE decides on a case-by-case basis who qualifies for both the state and federal programs it manages.

Gigi Zenk, former communications director for the office, said the programs are designed to provide minority business owners with equal access to contracts as a way of correcting persistent institutional discrimination.

“We work really hard to be fair, nothing is just black and white,” she said. “It’s never just one piece of evidence.”

Yet some who qualified for the program acknowledged they had never been disenfranchised. A Yakima man who qualified for both the state and federal programs said he is about 6 percent African American, looks Caucasian and has never encountered discrimination. Since 2014, the program has helped him win millions of dollars in contracts.

I discussed why brouhahas over whether some affirmative action beneficiary is black or not are fairly rare in the United States (versus how common they are in Brazil at present) in my recent Taki’s column “The Affirmative Action Honor System.”

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From my book review in Taki’s Magazine:

Diversity vs. Dignity
by Steve Sailer

September 19, 2018

Do identity politics truly represent “the demand for dignity,” as centrist political philosopher Francis Fukuyama asserts in the subtitle of his new book, Identity: The Demand for Dignity and the Politics of Resentment?

Personally, “dignity” would strike me as an odd characterization of such recent manifestations of identity politics as your local gay pride parade, Ferguson’s bouts of undocumented shopping, Bruce Jenner in a ball gown, or the Asia Argento vs. Rose McGowan #MeToo spat. Nor do I expect the upcoming Supreme Court nomination hearing/teen sex comedy to be a high point in the history of American dignity.

If I were looking for an alliterative subtitle, I might try instead “The Demand for Dominance.” Contemporary identity politics seem far less about Jackie Robinson maintaining a stiff upper lip as he demonstrates his right to play baseball than about Serena Williams feeling entitled to go off on the tennis umpire.

Read the whole thing there.

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From the NYT:

Christine Blasey Ford Wants F.B.I. to Investigate Kavanaugh Before She Testifies

By Peter Baker, Sheryl Gay Stolberg and Nicholas Fandos
Sept. 18, 2018

WASHINGTON — The woman who has accused President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee of sexual assault all but ruled out appearing at an extraordinary Senate hearing scheduled for next week to hear her allegations, insisting on Tuesday that the F.B.I. investigate first. …

“She’s not prepared to talk with them at a hearing on Monday,” Ms. Banks said. Even if Republicans agreed to an F.B.I. investigation, it would take time to complete, she added. “No legitimate investigation is going to happen between now and Monday.”

I’m guessing she doesn’t want to stumble in to perjury charges, so let the FBI figure out what really happened, and then she’ll testify to that.

Democratic leaders quickly endorsed Dr. Blasey’s position, but her resistance to coming to the committee on Monday seemed to harden the resolve of Republicans who said they gave her a chance to make her case. …

As senators in both parties grappled with how to move forward, Mr. Trump’s advisers and Judge Kavanaugh’s allies appeared to be settling on a strategy of defending him by suggesting that this must be a case of mistaken identity. Under the emerging strategy, Judge Kavanaugh’s defenders would accept that Dr. Blasey was in fact assaulted but would insist that it must have been by someone other than Judge Kavanaugh because he denied it.

Uh, guys, have you thought about what the 3rd and 4th guys must be thinking when they read this: Uh-oh, the GOP Senators are trying to frame me! What’s Diane Feinstein’s phone number?

The approach reflects the shifting reality of the #MeToo movement when it has become politically perilous to directly attack the credibility of women who come forward to tell their stories. By suggesting that perhaps there was confusion after more than 30 years, White House allies said that they could offer wavering Republicans whose votes are critical for his confirmation another explanation for the he-said-she-said conflict without tearing down Dr. Blasey.

Great. So your only allowed defense in the Current Year is: It wasn’t me, it was a guy who, uh … looked like me!

The line of defense seemed to be previewed on Monday when Judge Kavanaugh called Senator Orrin G. Hatch, Republican of Utah and a member of the Judiciary Committee, to discuss the allegations. Mr. Hatch told reporters afterward that he believed Judge Kavanaugh. “I think she’s mistaken something” or is “mixed up,” he said.

As I’ve been pointing out, so far nobody has come forward to stay that Ms. Blasey-Ford accused Kavanaugh by name before he became famous in late 2011 voting against Obamacare and then got talked up in early 2012 as a Supreme Court nominee. Her husband says she was worried about Kavanaugh getting on the Supreme Court when she they went to marriage counseling (although Kavanaugh’s name doesn’t appear in the therapist’s notes).

I’ve been wondering how often people see somebody in the news and decided that must be the person they knew back in the day. I vaguely recall having done that and then found out I was wrong, but I don’t remember any details.

I was worried I was doing that a few years when I was reading in the Washington Post about America’s Highest Paid Female CEO, who used to be a highly paid man: Hey, I thought, is that that huge jerk I was on a marketing strategy course team with in 1981? The name completely did not ring a bell, however. And it would be almost too convenient for me to have known a famous example of what I had been calling World War T for some time, and have my example confirm many of my theories about late onset M-to-F trans people.

So the first few times I mentioned him, I left myself an out in case I was jumping to a conclusion. Eventually, I came up with about a dozen items I remembered about him and this character fit maybe 11 of 12. (I think the one I was wrong about was that I recalled that maybe he and his wife had more than one child at the time because his apartment was large although not luxurious, but that didn’t check out.) So I’m quite confident I got this 30 year old identification right.

Two people familiar with the call, who did not want to be identified discussing it, said the judge insisted to Mr. Hatch that he did not do what he was accused of and then, in response to a question, agreed it was possible Dr. Blasey was thinking of somebody else.

Dr. Blasey has been uncertain about some details of the episode, including when it happened and whose house they were at. But this strategy carries its own risks. The letter from Dr. Blasey’s lawyers strongly suggested that it would be offensive to assert that she would not remember who pinned her down to a bed, groped her, tried to take her clothing off and covered her mouth to keep her from screaming at that party in the 1980s.

The NYT says “in the 1980s” because the accuser can’t remember which year it was.

That’s not confidence-inducing.

Judge Kavanaugh has told associates that he did not know who his accuser was until she identified herself in The Post and that, once he saw her name, he vaguely recalled her being part of the social circle associated with his all-boys high school in suburban Maryland at the time.

A person close to Dr. Blasey, who asked not to be identified to discuss the situation in detail, said Dr. Blasey knew the future Judge Kavanaugh in passing before the gathering where she says the attack took place, which could make it harder for his defenders to make a case that she had confused him for someone else.

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From Mike Rosenberg:

Longest commutes, by metro area

1. New York: 37 minutes one way
2. D.C. 34.9 min
3. San Francisco 34.4 min
4. San Bernardino 32.7 min
5. Atlanta 32.3 min
6. Chicago 31.8 min
7. Baltimore 31.5 min
8. Boston 31.4 min
9 Seattle 31 min
10 LA 30.8 min

Fourth worst commute in USA is San Bernardino … and after all that time on the road you still wind up in San Bernardino.

Seriously, standard of living/quality of life in inland California is pretty bad.

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A few days ago I wrote:

Personally, I suspect that Bill and Melinda Gates know about and worry about African overpopulation more than I do, and they are playing a complex 4-D chess game to try to do something about it.

But I worry that nobody else will notice what they are worried about.

Today, Gates came out of the closet on the African population bomb. From Reuters:

Africa’s rapid population growth puts poverty progress at risk, says Gates

Kate Kelland

LONDON (Reuters) – Rapid population growth in some of Africa’s poorest countries could put at risk future progress towards reducing global poverty and improving health, according to a report by the philanthropic foundation of Bill Gates.

Demographic trends show a billion people have lifted themselves out of poverty in the past 20 years, the report found. But swiftly expanding populations, particularly in parts of Africa, could halt the decline in the number of extremely poor people in the world, and it may even start to rise.

“Population growth in Africa is a challenge,” Gates told reporters in a telephone briefing about the report’s findings.

It found that poverty in Africa is increasingly concentrated in a few countries, which also have among the fastest-growing populations in the world. By 2050, it projected, more than 40 percent of world’s extremely poor people will live in just two countries: Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria.

Asked about the best ways of tackling the growing population and poverty challenge, Gates said improving access to birth control was key, and this should be combined with investment in young people’s health and education.

“The biggest things are the modern tools of contraception,” Gates said. “If you have those things available then people have more control over being able to space their children.”

The report, entitled Goalkeepers, tracks 18 data points on United Nations development goals, including child and maternal deaths, stunting, access to contraceptives, HIV, malaria, extreme poverty, financial inclusion, and sanitation.

In its family planning section, the report called on policymakers to empower women to exercise the right to choose the number of children they have, when they have them, and with whom.

According to U.N. data, Africa is expected to account for more than half of the world’s population growth between 2015 and 2050. Its population is projected to double by 2050, and could double again by 2100.

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From the Daily Beast:

Japan Needs ‘Foreigner Blood’ Like Naomi Osaka’s

Japan embraced ‘half’-Japanese and Haitian-American the new tennis superstar after she beat Serena Williams, but Japan’s government remains xenophobic. That must change.

by Jake Adelstein
09.17.18 7:18 AM ET

Screenshot 2018-09-17 23.23.03

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Screenshot 2018-09-17 20.50.43

Paul Krugman could tell Brett Kavanaugh was another Haven Monahan just by looking at him. Haven’t you people watched any romantic comedies going back to The Graduate in 1967? The mean rich kid who loses the girl to the mensch in the last reel always looks like Kavanaugh. Everybody knows that.

A photo from when the impoverished young Paul Krugman had to work his way thru Yale as Brett Kavanaugh’s caddy. Kavanaugh would require Krugman to kick his golf ball out from behind trees while nobody was looking.

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From Variety:

Asia Argento Threatens Rose McGowan With Legal Action
Senior Film and Media Editor

Asia Argento is threatening legal action against Rose McGowan. On Twitter, Argento gave McGowan 24 hours to retract claims she made detailing how she discovered that Argento had reportedly paid off actor Jimmy Bennett, who alleges the actress assaulted him when he was 17 years old.

“Dear @RoseMcGowan,” Argento tweeted. “It is with genuine regret that I am giving you 24 hours to retract and apologise for the horrendous lies made against me in your statement of August 27th. If you fail to address this libel I will have no option other than to take immediate legal action.” …

Argento and McGowan had previously been on friendly terms; they were drawn together after both women came forward detailing sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein. However, Argento’s status as a spokesperson for the #MeToo movement has been called into question after reports emerged that the actress reached a $380,000 settlement with Bennett at the end of last year. Argento claims that her late boyfriend, “Parts Unknown” host Anthony Bourdain, put up the money for the settlement and denies that she ever had sexual relationship with Bennett.

After the story broke, McGowan said that her partner, Rain Dove, told her that Argento said she had slept with Bennett when he was underage and that she had been receiving unsolicited nude photos of Bennett since he was 12 years old.

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As I’ve been pointing out for a long time, the current year Establishment wisdom is that the further the Bad Old Days recede into the past, the more they should control what we do in the future. For example:

From Wikipedia:

Matthew John Dowd (born May 29, 1961)[3] is an American political consultant. He was the chief strategist for the Bush-Cheney 2004 presidential campaign and is the current ABC News political analyst. …

Dowd was the strategist for Arnold Schwarzenegger during his 2006 reelection campaign. …

Since 2013 Dowd has been dating Maria Shriver, the ex-wife of former California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.[17][18]

Arnold should issue a press release saying:

At least my Mexican maid baby momma doesn’t make me tweet embarrassing stuff like this.

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iSteve commenter Jonah writes:

Years ago, I was curious and decided to tally up the Win-Loss record of black quarterbacks versus white quarterbacks. I quickly lost interest in the project, because it turns out almost every year is like the year before. Black QBs don’t win quite as much as they lose. There will be one black QB near the edge of the top 10 in the big passing stats, and a cluster of good athletes with short careers in the middle of the pack. Then a few crappy black QBs at the bottom of the rankings. It’s almost always the same distribution of individual accomplishment, and almost always the same group result.

I only found one season when black QBs had a better than average record. The Year Of The Black Quarterback in 2013. Russel Wilson and Kaepernick put up average passing numbers and ran a lot. They played on cheap rookie deals, enabling their front offices to build dominant defenses. Wilson won the Super Bowl. Black Quarterbacks finished a whopping ONE game over .500 that year. But times they were a changin’.

The next year black QBs collectively regressed to their mean, and finished eleven games under .500.

And that’s about standard. On average, teams staring a black QB will go 7-9. They’ll throw for fewer yards and touchdowns, but run for more yards and touchdowns. But they’ll also get hurt a little more often and play their backups more often. Meaning a smart front office with a black starting QB will usually pay a bit more for their backup QB. Which hurts roster depth elsewhere.

The NFL appears to be something close to a pure meritocracy. But GMs are optimists. Everyone has their fingers crossed at the start of training camp. And every year a couple more great athletes with lower than necessary Wonderlic scores get a crack at QB than probably deserve it. It’s not affirmative action. It’s Hope.

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Screenshot 2018-09-17 15.57.48

In the future America of hypocritocracy, we won’t get much done, but we sure will have some juicy gossip to chew over for generations.

Steve Sailer
About Steve Sailer

Steve Sailer is a journalist, movie critic for Taki's Magazine, columnist, and founder of the Human Biodiversity discussion group for top scientists and public intellectuals.

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