What’s at risk with Kavanaugh’s Appointment

I would like to claim prescience for correctly guessing that Brett Kavanaugh would be the Supreme Court pick, but his choice was fairly obvious. And has been noted in various press publications, Justice Kennedy likely retired now  because he knew of Kavanaugh’s pick.

Kavanaugh’s rulings and writings are now being scrutinized, particularly when it comes to decisions that can impact on Roe v. Wade. Unfortunately, we’re so fixated on this one specific case that we’re ignoring the real threat that Kavanaugh’s appointment will be in the court.

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SCOTUS Pick: Kavanaugh’s Advantage

According to media reports, Trump has narrowed his SCOTUS pick to *three people: Amy Coney Barrett, Brett Kavanaugh, and Raymond Kethledge.

I suspect that Trump had narrowed his choice even before Kennedy retired. And I also suspect Trump’s short list was communicated to Kennedy, leading Kennedy to feel he could safely retire. After all, two members of the short list clerked with Kennedy; his legacy could continue if either is picked.

Each candidate has attributes that would appeal to Trump, as well as drawbacks. However, I believe that Kavanaugh will end up the pick, because he represents a way to attack Obama’s legacy not just once, but twice.

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Dump, Block, and Disavow

Trump rally in Arizona

The Detroit Free Press published a story about an 8-month old baby who arrived in the dead of night in Michigan. The baby was forcibly separated from his parents at the Mexican border because of Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy.

CNN also published a story this morning. It wasn’t about babies arriving in the dead of night after being ripped from their parents. It was about what Trump supporters think of the policy of ripping babies away from the parents.

“I think people need to stop constantly bringing up the poor children, the poor children. The parents are the problems. They’re the ones coming in illegally,” she said. “Quit trying to make us feel teary-eyed for the children. Yes, I love children a great deal, but to me, it’s up to the parents to do things rightfully and legally.”

Frankly, CNN and other publications should stop bringing up what Trump supporters feel. We know what they feel. We’ve always known what they feel.

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Roseanne Barr vs. Joy Reid: When the Media Dumpster Dives

I hadn’t planned on writing another piece on the Joy Reid old weblog posts. I made the point that the Wayback Machine doesn’t guarantee authenticity, which too many people mistook to mean that I was undermining the Wayback Machine’s integrity. Then I made others unhappy when I agreed with the Daily Beast’s take that it was *unlikely Joy Reid’s posts were hacked.

Discussing the topic is just a lose/lose, and frankly, I felt it was much ado about nothing. Yes, nothing. Twelve year old weblog posts, published back in a time when we were all much more casual about our weblog writing  pales as a subject compared to, say, discovering that Hurricane Maria killed over 4,600 people in Puerto Rico.

But in the wake of the Roseanne Barr Twitter implosion, publications feel they have to find some form of ‘balanced’ news coverage, so they dumpster dived, yet again, into Reid’s weblog, which is back online at the Wayback Machine.

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The Daily Beast Investigation of Joy Reid’s Claims

The Daily Beast investigated the claims of Joy Reid’s ‘cyber expert’ and found that most could not be substantiated. I, myself, am less than enamored with Jonathan Nichol’s claims. For being an expert, he doesn’t seem to know very much.

And therein lies, I suspect, the seeds of this whole event: lots of writing over the years, memory, and bad tech advice.

At the end of the Daily Beast writeup, Kevin Poulson wrote:

If she wasn’t hacked, it doesn’t necessarily follow that Reid is lying. Her decision to hire a security consultant to investigate the posts, and a lawyer to demand the access logs for her blog account, suggests she genuinely believes at least some of the posts were planted. After 12 years and tens of thousands of written words, Reid simply may not remember.

It’s possible that in the end Reid will discover her adversary isn’t a determined hacker, but a far more dogged foe: The Joy-Ann Reid of years past, writing in a voice she can no longer recognize as her own.

I’ll have more to say in a later piece on what it means to be a writer putting yourself online, especially over the years. For now, I think that the Daily Beast has an accurate read on what’s happened.

I’ve had considerable pushback on Twitter related to my writing about Reid, the Wayback Machine, and authenticity. What I find ironic is that so many who condemn Reid the loudest post anonymously on Twitter. They want to hold Reid accountable for her past writing, while they, themselves, hide behind a bush.

In the meantime, Library of Congress has a backup of some (not all) of Reid’s past posts. BernieBros and the far right gleefully pick and choose snippets they can post in the most damning light, but if you want to know the Reid of long ago, you need to read all of her writing. Then maybe you’ll drop that stone you hold so easily in your hand.