News from the note…
A round up of the day’s news that might be of interest to you.
This is an OPEN THREAD, folks. Chat about any of the stories listed, share links to stories that caught your eye today, and generally have a good time discussing whatever you want.
We watched in bars, at schools and on airplanes. We huddled around flat-screen TVs, listened to car radios and peered at cellphones.
Across the country, millions of Americans sat riveted Thursday as Christine Blasey Ford and Judge Brett Kavanaugh gave dramatic testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee about her allegations that he sexually assaulted her when they were in high school.
Some viewers fought back tears, Others grew angry. The future of the Supreme Court, and of our country, seemed to hang in the balance as we paused to watch history unfold live on Capitol Hill.CNN
President Trump on Friday called the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault a “credible witness” and deferred to the Senate on whether to delay a vote on his confirmation.
“I thought her testimony was very compelling, and she looks like a very fine woman to me,” Trump said following a meeting with Chilean President Sebastian Pinera at the White House.
“I thought that Brett’s testimony, likewise, was really something that I haven’t seen before, it was incredible,” Trump said. “I think it will work out very well for the country.”
Asked if he had considered a replacement for Kavanaugh, Trump responded, “Not even a little bit.”The Hill
The liberal world order is taking a beating these days, and not just at the hands of Donald Trump, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. In recent months a bevy of American political scientists from the progressive left to the libertarian right has launched attacks on the very idea of the liberal order, as well as on the conduct of American foreign policy over the past seven decades. These critics argue that the liberal order was a “myth,” a cover for American hegemony and “imperialism.” To the degree there was an order, it was characterized by “coercion, violence, and instability,” and also by hypocrisy. The United States did not always support democracy, but often backed dictatorships, and in the name of shaping a “putatively liberal order,” it often “upended, stretched, or broke liberal rules.” The celebrated achievements of the liberal order, they therefore claim, are either overblown—the “long peace” was due to the Cold War balance of nuclear terror not the American-led order, Graham Allison argues, for instance. Or the order’s benefits are outweighed by its many failures—Vietnam, Iraq, McCarthyism—and by the costs of sustaining it. Indeed, if the liberal order is failing today, they argue, it has been “complicit in its own undoing.” In this, at least, the critics sound much like the president—he, too, believes the liberal order has been a bad deal for Americans.Politico
A U.S. appeals court on Friday ordered a new trial in a lawsuit accusing Led Zeppelin of copying an obscure 1960s instrumental for the intro to its classic 1971 rock anthem “Stairway to Heaven.”
A federal court jury in Los Angeles two years ago found Led Zeppelin did not copy the famous riff from the song “Taurus” by the band Spirit. But the three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled unanimously that the lower court judge provided erroneous jury instructions. It sent the case back to the court for another trial.AP
The House Intelligence Committee voted Friday to release transcripts from more than 50 closed-door interviews from its Russia investigation, which will provide for the first time first-hand comments from some of President Donald Trump’s senior aides addressing questions about potential collusion.
The committee took a bipartisan voice vote to release the transcripts from most of its Russia investigation interviews. They will not be released immediately, however, as the panel is sending them to the Office of the Director of National Intelligence to be scrubbed for classified information.CNN
The Chinese government’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, said on Friday there was “no cause for panic” over friction between Beijing and Washington, but warned that China would not be blackmailed or yield to pressure over trade.
At a U.N. Security Council meeting on Wednesday, U.S. President Donald Trump escalated tensions with Beijing by accusing it of seeking to meddle in the Nov. 6 U.S. congressional elections to stop him and his Republican Party from doing well because of his China trade policies. At the same meeting, Wang rejected the charge.
“Protectionism will only hurt oneself, and unilateral moves will bring damage to all,” Wang said in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly on Friday.
“Regarding trade frictions, China stands for a proper settlement based on rules and consensus through dialogue and consultation on an equal footing. China will not be blackmailed or yield to pressure.Reuters
Facebook on Friday disclosed that close to 50 million users had account data compromised through a security vulnerability.
The social media giant discovered the issue on Tuesday afternoon and is still in the early stages of investigating, according to a company blog post.
The vulnerability is resolved and Facebook has informed law enforcement, the company said.
“The reality here is we face constant attacks,” Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg told reporters during a press call this afternoon. “We need to do more to prevent this from happening in the first place. … We’re going to keep investing very heavily in security going forward.”
He insisted security has become “an arms race” for social media giants.
“This is going to be an ongoing effort,” he said.Politico
Whether or not the Senate approves Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination, a big question looms: Should he be impeached?
Kavanaugh, who is a judge on the Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, now faces three namedaccusations of sexual assault and misconduct, all of which he has denied. But even before the allegations, former deputy assistant attorney general Lisa Graves called for Kavanaugh’s impeachment about an entirely different thing — she accused him of lying about stolen memos the Bush White House and congressional allies used in early 2000s judicial confirmation fights under oath.
It’s unlikely a Republican-controlled House would act on such an impeachment, but if Democrats took control, they could pursue charges related to both sexual wrongdoing and lying about the memos, whatever happens to Kavanaugh.Vox