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Protests Erupt In Kavanaugh Hearings

Dems open contentious hearings with attack on ‘partisan’ Kavanaugh. NYT: “Senate Democrats tore into President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee on Tuesday, painting Judge Brett M. Kavanaugh as a narrow-minded partisan as the opening day of his confirmation hearings verged on pandemonium. Dozens of screaming protesters were hauled out of the hearing room in handcuffs. The verbal brawl began moments after the hearings began. Democrats, furious at being denied access to records related to Judge Kavanaugh, immediately interrupted the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Charles E. Grassley of Iowa, demanding time to consider tens of thousands of pages of documents released late Monday — the night before the hearing. The hearings were dominated by Democratic theatrics and crackling protests. For more than an hour at the outset, irate Democrats and a frustrated Mr. Grassley parried back and forth. Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, denounced the hearing as ‘a charade and a mockery’ and repeatedly moved to adjourn, while Mr. Grassley ruled him out of order over and over again. Protesters, most of them women, shouted down senators; by day’s end, Capitol Police said a total of 70 people had been arrested, including nine outside the room. It was a chaotic start to what would ordinarily be a staid, albeit deeply consequential, process. And barring an astounding revelation, the path remains clear for Judge Kavanaugh’s ultimate confirmation — probably this month. If he is confirmed, he could shape American jurisprudence for decades to come, replacing the retired Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, a critical swing vote on divisive matters like same-sex marriage and abortion, with an unabashed conservative.”

Second Round Of Kavanaugh Questions

10 things to watch for in the Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearing Wednesday. LA Times: “The Senate confirmation hearings for Judge Brett Kavanaugh started off contentiously Tuesday and will probably continue to gain steam Wednesday, with the first bout of public questioning of President Trump’s Supreme Court pick. Democrats have at least two days — and 50 minutes each — to ask Kavanaugh about abortion, gun rights, presidential power, healthcare or whatever else they choose. Republicans will have the same time to draw out Kavanaugh’s credentials and strengths. Democrats are likely to press Kavanaugh about his broad views of presidential immunity. Kavanaugh has argued that special investigations are a mistake and may be unconstitutional. Though he was a key player in the independent investigation of President Clinton, Kavanaugh has since said a sitting president should be temporarily immune from any criminal probe while in office and that even investigating or questioning a president should not be permitted, unless done by Congress. Democrats showed during their opening statements Tuesday they are going after this point hard. With the ongoing investigation by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III into Russian interference in the 2016 election and possible collusion with the Trump campaign, there is a chance the Supreme Court may be called upon to decide whether the president has to answer Mueller’s questions, or whether Trump can shut down the investigation or fire the special counsel. ‘The elephant in the room … is going to be the president’s implication as an unindicted co-conspirator’ in the guilty plea of former Trump attorney Michael Cohen, said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.).”

Progressive Pressley Scores Upset Win In MA Primary

Ayanna Pressley defeats Rep. Michael Capuano in MA primary. HuffPost: “Boston City Council member Ayanna Pressley beat a 10-term incumbent Tuesday to win the Democratic nomination for Massachusetts’ 7th Congressional District, an upset building on the momentum for progressives sparked by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s victory in a New York House primary earlier this summer. Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) conceded to Pressley on Tuesday evening. ‘Clearly the district wanted a lot of change,’ he told supporters after his loss. ‘I’m sorry that this didn’t work out.'”

Woodward Book Rocks White House

Woodward book rocks Trump White House. The Hill: “Explosive excerpts from Watergate reporter Bob Woodward’s highly anticipated book about the Trump White House landed with a boom on Tuesday, rocking Washington and creating a new crisis for the president as his party enters a pivotal stretch. ‘Fear: Trump in the White House’ casts the administration as rife with infighting, depicting White House aides as attempting to rein in President Trump’s worst impulses — at least judged by the excerpts published Tuesday by The Washington Post. Woodward paints the picture of an administration having a ‘nervous breakdown,’ describing instances where staffers snatched papers off of Trump’s desk so he couldn’t see them or follow through on what they believed would be catastrophic decisions on trade or national security. Aides likened Trump’s paranoia about special counsel Robert Mueller to former President Nixon’s final days in the White House, and the book is chock-full of examples of Trump and aides targeting one another with insults.”

GOP Aims To Dismantle, Not Replace Health Care

GOP plans to dismantle, not replace ACA. NYT: “The G.O.P. can’t come up with an alternative to the Affordable Care Act because no such alternative exists. In particular, if you want to preserve protection for people with pre-existing conditions — the health issue that matters most to voters, including half of Republicans — Obamacare is the most conservative policy that can do that. The only other options are things like Medicare for all that would involve moving significantly to the left, not the right. Obamacare is the most conservative option for covering pre-existing conditions, and if Republicans really cared about the scores of millions of Americans with such conditions, they would support and indeed try to strengthen the A.C.A. Instead, they’re going to kill it if they hold on in two months. But covering pre-existing conditions is popular; therefore, they’re pretending that they’ll do that, while offering proposals that would, in fact, do no such thing. Why do they imagine they can get away with such brazen fraud, because that’s what it is? Do they imagine that voters are stupid? Well, yes. In recent rallies Donald Trump has been declaring that Democrats want to ‘raid Medicare to pay for socialism.’ But the more important target is the news media, many members of which still haven’t learned to cope with the pervasive bad faith of modern conservatism. When someone like, say, Senator Dean Heller of Nevada co-sponsors a bill that purports to protect pre-existing conditions but actually doesn’t, what he hopes for are headlines that say ‘Heller Announces Plan to Protect Americans With Pre-existing Conditions,’ with the key fact — that his bill wouldn’t do that at all — buried in the 17th paragraph.”

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