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If You Believe Dr. Blasey, You Vote NO

An emotional hearing, with the Supreme Court at stake. NYT: "Christine Blasey Ford, the first accuser to come forward and accuse Judge Kavanaugh of grave sexual misconduct, says that he assaulted her when they were teenagers, pushing her onto a bed, groping her, grinding his body against hers and covering her mouth with his hand when she tried to scream. Viewers across the country — including a critical group of undecided senators who will decide the confirmation — were captivated as Dr. Blasey came forward to tell her story and Judge Kavanaugh fought to clear his name and salvage his spot on the nation’s highest court. Republicans on the committee, including Senator John Cornyn of Texas, the No. 2 Republican in the chamber, said they expect the committee to vote on Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation on Friday morning, as scheduled. But while Mr. Kavanaugh’s scorched-earth testimony was well received by his conservative backers, he must also persuade a moderate group of senators known to break from party lines. One senator who could delay a committee vote is Senator Jeff Flake, Republican of Arizona, who fought to have the hearing in the first place. Mr. Flake, who is retiring at the end of the year, has offered few hints into his reactions to the testimony, and he declined to ask Judge Kavanaugh any questions during the hearing. But he previously offered his own test to reporters: 'If you believe' Dr. Blasey, 'you vote no.'"

A Woman's 'Civic Duty'

The cruelty of a woman's 'Civic Duty'. Jezebel: "Dr. Christine Blasey Ford sat before a group of men on Thursday and testified about a moment she’s had to relive since she was 15 years old. Among the many monstrous moments in Thursday’s confirmation hearing, one chord that struck loudly was the reiteration that Ford is performing a civic duty. In a written testimony, which was released the day before and which Ford read in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, she explained what brought her there. 'I am here today not because I want to be,' she stated. 'I am here today because I believe it is my civic duty.' She continued, recounting the dread she felt at the party where she says Brett Kavanaugh groped her on a bed and sexually assaulted her: 'I believed he was going to rape me.' Reliving your trauma as public service feels altogether tragic, unfair, and most of all familiar. That the burden of this so-called civic duty has fallen on the survivor is unsurprising. During the early part of the hearing, Senator Chris Coons described Ford’s testimony as a service in the cruelest sense. 'You chose to come forward with very serious and relevant information about a nominee for a lifetime position on our Supreme Court,' Coons said. 'You didn’t have to, and I know you’ve done it at great personal cost. This is a public service and I want you to know I’m grateful for the opportunity to hear from you directly today.'"

Mass Mobilization To End Kavanaugh Nomination

'Time to Fight': Emergency mobilizations at Senate offices nationwide on Friday to stop Kavanaugh. Common Dreams: "As Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee confirmed once more that they are willing to crush widespread calls for an FBI probe into Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's compelling sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh by scheduling the first vote on the judge for less than 24 hours after his belligerent, tantrum-filled testimony, women's rights groups are leading a nationwide rapid response mobilization on Friday to demand that senators put an immediate halt to the "sham" confirmation process. 'Republicans are moving forward to confirm Brett Kavanaugh. They do not care about our pain,' NARAL Pro-Choice America—one of the groups that organized Friday's noon rallies at Senate offices across the nation—declared in a tweet late Thursday. 'They do not care about our trauma. It's time to fight.'"

EPA To Eliminate Science Advisor

EPA to eliminate office that advises agency chief on science. NYT: "The Environmental Protection Agency plans to dissolve its Office of the Science Advisor, a senior post that was created to counsel the E.P.A. administrator on the scientific research underpinning health and environmental regulations, according to a person familiar with the agency’s plans. The person spoke anonymously because the decision had not yet been made public. The science adviser works across the agency to ensure that the highest quality science is integrated into the agency’s policies and decisions, according to the E.P.A.’s website. The move is the latest among several steps taken by the Trump administration that appear to have diminished the role of scientific research in policymaking while the administration pursues an agenda of rolling back regulations."

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