On Thursday, Harvard law professor and Fox News contributor Alan Dershowitz laid out the case for why Brett Kavanaugh should be confirmed to the Supreme Court despite allegations that he sexually assaulted Dr. Christine Blasey Ford when he was 17 and she was 15.
Dershowitz pointed out that it would be far too difficult to determine what happened that night. He noted that memory is fallible, and neither men nor women are reliable narrators of events may have transpired decades ago.
“There are so many possibilities here,” Dershowitz said. “In the end, I think we’re going to be stuck with ‘he said, she said.’ I don’t think we are going to get very much more.”
He continued to cast doubt on the wisdom of taking Ford’s accusations into account when considering Kavanaugh’s confirmation.
“First, who do you believe when you have a situation like this? Neither men or women were born with a gene to lie or tell the truth,” he said.
He further pointed out that both sexes have spotty memories. “Women forget, men forget. These are very emotional issues,” he wrote.
On Tuesday, a psychiatrist writing in the New York Times explained why even though memory can be tricky, an assault survivor might maintain vivid memories many years later.
“Neuroscience research tells us that memories formed under the influence of intense emotion — such as the feelings that accompany a sexual assault — are indelible in the way that memories of a routine day are not,” writes Dr. Richard A. Friedman.
“That’s why it’s credible that Christine Blasey Ford, who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh, President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee, of sexually assaulting her when they were both teenagers, has a vivid recollection of the alleged long-ago event,” he continues.
“I thought he might inadvertently kill me,” she told The Washington Post in a recent interview. “He was trying to attack me and remove my clothing.”
He cites research that shows that heightened emotions generate a brain chemical surge that strengthens a memory.
“That is why you can easily forget where you put your smartphone or what you had for dinner last night or last year. But you will almost never forget who raped you, whether it happened yesterday — or 36 years ago,” he writes. ‘There’s very little chance that you are, as some senators suggest Dr. Blasey is, “mixed up” or “confused.”
Mike Pompeo accused of ‘retaliating against’ NPR after he bars reporter from his plane
NPR reporter Michele Kelemen has been removed from Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s press pool ahead of his trip abroad this week to Europe and Asia, the State Department Correspondents’ Association reported on Monday.
In her role as a pool reporter, Kelemen was to travel with Pompeo and share information as a representative of all radio news outlets, not just NPR. But last week, Pompeo ignited a feud with NPR when host Mary Louise Kelly pressed him on his failure to stand up for State Department officials who got wrapped up in the Ukraine impeachment scandal. Reporters need the department’s permission to fly on the plane along with the secretary for foreign trips, though this practice is usually uncontroversial.
Xi says China fighting ‘demon’ coronavirus as contagion spreads abroad
President Xi Jinping said Tuesday China was in a struggle against a "demon" epidemic, as the death toll from the new SARS-like virus soared to 106 and the first cases of human-to-human contagion were detected abroad.
Xi made his remarks during talks with head of the World Health Organization in Beijing as a host of nations prepared to airlift their citizens from Wuhan, the epicentre of the outbreak.
"Chinese people are currently engaged in a serious struggle against an epidemic of a new type of coronavirus infection," Xi told WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
"The epidemic is a demon, and we cannot let this demon hide," the Chinese leader said, pledging that the government would be transparent and release information on the virus in a "timely" manner.
Trump snubs Pelosi for signing ceremony of trade deal she helped him pass
On Tuesday, CNN's Haley Byrd reported that President Donald Trump is not inviting House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) to the signing of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the president's signature trade agreement that updates and modernizes the earlier NAFTA deal.
Major Democratic committee chairs who were instrumental in shaping the final resolution, including Ways and Means Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) were reportedly also not invited to the signing.
Democratic votes were critical to the ultimate passage of USMCA, and also played a role in influencing the final, bipartisan details of the agreement.