Best Of The Web
“AS THE FBI explores whether Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh sexually assaulted women while in high school and college, elected officials and others have suggested that federal agents can authoritatively get to the bottom of an alleged attack said to have occurred three decades ago.
The FBI’s only impediment, these people allege, is possible meddling by the White House to limit the investigation’s scope. Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican whose last-minute show of leverage forced the new FBI inquiry, has told the White House and the FBI that he expects “a fulsome” investigation. Newspaper editorial boards have warned that the Trump administration’s interference in the investigation would taint the FBI’s findings.
“FBI agents are experts at interviewing people and quickly dispatching leads to their colleagues around the world to follow with additional interviews,” former FBI Director James Comey assured Americans in a New York Times op-ed. “Unless limited in some way by the Trump administration, they can speak to scores of people in a few days, if necessary.”
But these arguments leave out the inherent limitations of FBI investigations in cases such as this.
The FBI agents probing whether Kavanaugh sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when they were both in high school lack something that most serious government investigations require: subpoena power.
Unlike agents tasked with investigating a crime, the FBI must rely on witnesses to cooperate voluntarily with its investigation. A possible witness approached by the FBI may simply slam the door in agents’ faces with no repercussions. At any time, witnesses who choose to cooperate can refuse to answer a specific question, and they won’t have to provide any explanation for their refusal.”
JJ Best Of The Web
"Now I’m starting to wonder how I can go at all. And I’m also wondering why more Muslims don’t question the powers that control our most sacred site—and how the Saudis have already twisted it to their own political and financial ends."
"It's going to be a letdown. Not only is it likely that the final report will not reveal that the president has been a KGB agent since the late '80s, as at least one mainstream liberal columnist fantasized."
"The JFNA GA may say they want to talk, but there are some parts of Israel which have the feeling that this American Jewish organization is not really interested in hearing what they have to say."
“What responsibility do you think young, famous women have today to be activists?” I asked Bateman. “Are you tempted to leverage your fame for political reasons?”
"For nearly 40 years, the GOP has relied on cutting taxes as an easy way to win votes, even when their plans—like the most recent package—benefit only the rich. "
"On its face, voting by phone makes sense. Nearly ninety-five per cent of American adults own mobile phones, and rely on them for all sorts of secure transactions."
"Allegations of sexual harassment brought down Bill Gothard, a leading figure of the Christian right. But his fall also revealed the diminished influence of fundamentalism in the Trump era."
"Literature — the top-shelf, award-winning stuff — is positively ectoplasmic these days, crawling with hauntings, haints and wraiths of every stripe and disposition."
"Kids have a habit of imitating their parents’ criminal behavior. It’s no wonder, then, that by one measure, 10 percent of families account for two-thirds of criminals."
"SFAH doesn’t make an argument for local or slow food per se, but that’s what we see. The dishes are simple, with few ingredients, made traditionally and with pleasure."
We think of archeological finds as being clues to the ancient past. In a new book from Ulrike Sommer, archeology's effects on present-day national narratives are excavated.
"That the highest God speaks for six days and then has to rest from fatigue at the seventh is a patent absurdity: ‘It is not fitting for the first God to be tired or to work with his hands or to give orders,’ he writes."