September 26th – The Day’s Most Fascinating News

A third woman joins the Kavalanche, Trump accuses a foreign country of election meddling (but it's not Russia), and a bar that features ax throwing...

The day before Christine Blasey Ford is scheduled to testify in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, a third woman has come forward to accuse Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct. “Julie Swetnick said in the declaration, submitted to the Senate Judiciary Committee, that Kavanaugh and his friends, including Mark Judge, helped spike the drinks of girls at high school house parties to ’cause girls to lose inhibitions and their ability to say no. ‘I also witnessed efforts by Mark Judge, Brett Kavanaugh and others to cause girls to become inebriated and disoriented so they could then be ‘gang raped’ in the side room or bedroom by a ‘train’ of numerous boys.'” All Democratic members of the Judiciary Committee are calling for Kavanaugh’s nomination to be withdrawn or for an FBI investigation to be started. So far, the GOP is standing firm on the nomination, and Kavanaugh called the latest allegations “ridiculous and from the Twilight Zone.” Here’s the latest on the fast moving (even by today’s standards) story from CNN.

+ “Mark Judge spent decades mining his recollections and writing books and articles full of semi-confessional details about the suburban Maryland prep school he attended with future Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Now, though, Judge’s memory has drawn a blank.”

+ If Thursday’s hearing happens, an Arizona prosecutor will question Brett Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford. (I don’t know who’s telling the truth. But I do know that it’s a complete dereliction of duty for Senators to pass their responsibility onto a female prosecutor. Do your job or get out.)

+ Kavanaugh could be telling the truth about the incidents, but he has issued a series of small lies during this process. From WaPo’s Greg Sargent: Brett Kavanaugh and the moral ugliness of casual lying.

+ Here’s Kavanaugh’s prepared written testimony for Thursday’s hearing.

+ President Trump has decided to take over Kavanaugh’s defense himself and will hold his fourth news conference on the eve of the hearings. (This will leave people deciding who to believe: Three women who have nothing to gain and everything to lose by coming forward or a president who brags about sexual assault and who lies every time he speaks.)


Acapulco’s Last Resort

“The state government said it had taken the step because of ‘suspicion that the force had probably been infiltrated by criminal groups’ and ‘the complete inaction of the municipal police in fighting the crime wave.” The Guardian: Authorities in southern Mexico have disarmed and placed under investigation the entire police force in Acapulco.


The Meddle Detector

At the UN, President Trump finally stated for the record that a foreign country has been meddling with American elections. Only, he didn’t say it about Russia. He said it about China. “They do not want me or us to win, because I am the first president to ever challenge China on trade.”

+ Trump “dismissed the reaction by claiming he intended to draw laughter, an unlikely claim in the context of his speech. It was an ironic moment. In his stump speeches at home, Trump often laments that the United States is ‘the laughingstock of the world.’ But, on Tuesday, he was.” Robin Wright in The New Yorker: Trump’s Speech at the U.N. Triggers Laughter—and Disbelief. (That’s a familiar combination these days…)

+ While Trump insisted he intended to get a laugh, Nikki Haley offered another theory: “They love how honest he is.” (Hmm, now that I think about it, yeah, that’s probably it…)

+ Meanwhile, the US and Europe’s fight over Iran is playing out at the UN.


Billboard Charts

“This old-school ad format is booming precisely because digital ads are so commonplace. Amid all the digital noise, it’s a guaranteed way to reach a broad swath of people.” ReCode on a marketplace that’s bigger than ever: Billboards — yes, billboards — are having a heyday in a digital world.


Things That Go Bump on the Right

After the Parkland and Vegas mass shootings, President Trump tweeted that “Bump Stocks will soon be out.” That was six months ago. Here’s an update. Bump stocks are still in.

+ CNBC: Smith & Wesson loses fight with nuns and other shareholders on gun safety proposal.


Sister Mary Jane

“For too many who call Seattle home, a misdemeanor marijuana conviction or charge has created barriers to opportunity — good jobs, housing, loans and education.” A Seattle court agrees to vacate misdemeanor marijuana convictions prosecuted before legalization.

+ “Unaffiliated with any church, the Sisters of the Valley wear habits around the property, but Meeusen said she doesn’t feel like they are making a mockery of religion.” Self-styled ‘weed nuns’ put faith in the healing powers, and profits, of cannabis. (I always knew weed could be habit forming…)


Everything Means Less Than Zero

“Nielsen signed off on the option to prosecute all adults who crossed the border illegally, including those with kids, knowing it would lead to family separations. The administration’s ‘zero tolerance’ policy, which sought to prosecute every adult caught crossing the border illegally, resulted in thousands of families being separated, with some parents being deported without their children.” Buzzfeed: The Secretary Of Homeland Security Said There Was “No Policy Of Separating Families.” A Memo Proves There Was.


Interest Bearing Down

“Within a decade, more than $900 billion in interest payments will be due annually, easily outpacing spending on myriad other programs. Already the fastest-growing major government expense, the cost of interest is on track to hit $390 billion next year, nearly 50 percent more than in 2017, according to the Congressional Budget Office.” NYT: As Debt Rises, the Government Will Soon Spend More on Interest Than on the Military.


Ax Backwards

“Drinking alcohol while throwing axes, ax-throwers wearing open-toed shoes, a lack of monitoring by bar management and axes ricocheting off targets in the direction of participants were among the concerns listed by Michigan Liquor Control Commission investigators.” A Michigan bar has had its liquor license suspended for a day.


Bottom of the News

Debra Messing, Tiffany Shlain, Vendela Vida and a bunch of other great women will be joining my wife at The What Summit: a place for smart Perennial women to develop real friendships over real talk (and some really great wine). There couldn’t be a better time for a women’s conference for personal and professional development and no one knows how to throw an event like my wife. And any female NextDraft reader who wants to attend gets a $200 discount with the code: ND200.

+ “We know. It’s going to take a few minutes for the enormity of this to set in. But yes, a 37-year-old closing her own car door has managed to completely upend royal Twitter.” Vanity Fair: Why Meghan Markle Caused Such a Stir by Shutting a Car Door.

+ The New Yorker: The Men Who Have Taken Wiffle Ball to a Crazy, Competitive Place. (Who am I to judge? I did the same thing with web browsing…)

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