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The crap on Kavanaugh is not new news…

so don’t say they have been sitting on this for 30 years…..

The Yale Secret Society Brett Kavanaugh Joined Was Mostly About Drinking, Yale Alumni Say

No Skull and Bones.

Posted on July 11, 2018, at 10:30 p.m. ET

There was, in Brett Kavanaugh’s Trumpian performance, not even a hint of the composure one would think a potential Supreme Court Justice would have …

Brett Kavanaugh, President Donald Trump’s pick for Supreme Court justice, was in a secret society at Yale called Truth and Courage — a lofty name for what was, in reality, an all-male club that one former member said more closely resembled a fraternity.

The name was widely known to be a jab at Yale’s older, more formal secret societies, like the Bushes’ Skull and Bones, said Kristin Sherry, who attended in the early 1980s, a few years before Kavanaugh, and knew several members of Truth and Courage — all “nice party guys,” Sherry said. “It was a bit of a joke.”

The former Truth and Courage member, who graduated several years after Kavanaugh, said the group was young and loosely organized. It had no ancient tomb, and in his time, he said, it met mostly in members’ apartments or fraternity basements.

Yale’s network of secret societies, particularly in Kavanaugh’s time, was mostly decades-old, monied establishments that met in imposing stone buildings known as “tombs.” In Skull and Bones, for instance, members meet frequently to debate political and academic topics, dine on elaborate meals, and listen to distinguished speakers. The club is famously alcohol-free.

Not Truth and Courage, which was also known simply as TNC.

“It was nothing like Scroll and Key, nothing like Wolf’s Head,” said one woman who graduated a year after Kavanaugh and said she knew members of Truth and Courage. “They just drank a ton. They got drunk.” She paused. “All I remember is them drinking.”

Kavanaugh was a member of the fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon, according to his Yale yearbook entry, where he also listed Truth and Courage — a rarity at Yale, where fraternity life is relatively subdued. He wrote about sports for the Yale Daily News.

In a private Facebook group composed of more than 20,000 Yale alumni this week, some members have noted Kavanaugh’s stated membership of TNC; most people commenting on the group have described it as “informal” and “minor.”

“Other societies were looking for a prestigious family background, or your GPA. Each had their own personalities,” said Sherry. TNC, Sherry said, was unique: It was “organized around having sex with coeds.”

Several years before Kavanaugh was initiated into TNC, Sherry said, the people on campus called the group by an “alternate nickname”: “Tit and Clit.”

That was a name that wasn’t familiar to the woman who had graduated in 1988. The former member said he hadn’t heard of the “Tit and Clit” nickname in his time there, either, and that the group didn’t have get-togethers with women’s societies.

But, of the nickname Sherry described, he said, “I can see how people would say that. When it really comes down to it, it was basically a fraternity extension.”

Kavanaugh is a steady conservative and a devout Catholic who attended Georgetown Prep, a Jesuit school in North Bethesda, Maryland. He’s spent much of his career inside the Beltway, forging tight connections to the Washington Republican establishment. His confirmation has ignited ire on the left, who fear he will tilt the Supreme Court to the right and could help roll back abortion rights, among other issues.

Sherry took issue not with Kavanaugh’s membership in TNC — “Yale in the ’80s was very sexually liberal,” she said — but with the idea that someone who had “partied” so liberally might take part in overturning Roe v. Wade. “It’s the height of hypocrisy,” Sherry said.

TNC did follow some secret society traditions, the former member said. It sent masked members running around campus, often while singing, on the night known as “Tap Night,” and initiated new members with elaborate drinking games.

In one way, though, TNC distinguished itself from other Yale societies. In the 1980s and 1990s, most Yale societies became gender neutral; Skull and Bones famously began to admit women in 1991. In a 2012 list of all of Yale’s societies, TNC’s members were, still, all men — making it, by then, one of only a tiny fraction of all-male societies left on campus.

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Kavanaugh and Ford might both be telling the truth. And that says something profoundly troubling about our world.

Brett Kavanaugh claims he has no memory of Christine Blasey Ford. Furthermore, he “never did anything remotely resembling what Dr. Ford describes.” To her. Or to anyone.

Either he is lying. Or he is telling the truth.

Throughout today’s hearing, I noted Dr. Ford’s repeated attempts to reign in emotion (she didn’t always succeed.) Judge Kavanaugh, on the other hand, with his fiery pulpit delivery – broken only by sniffs and warbles – unleashed his emotion with abandon. I have little doubt their feelings are sincere. But it’s important to note Dr. Ford’s attempt to control hers versus Kavanaugh’s propensity to let’em rip.

There’s a widely accepted explanation for this: emotional displays threaten to undermine a woman’s credibility — they make them seem “irrational”– a phenomenon of which Dr. Ford, like all women, is already aware.

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But her efforts to conceal her feelings are about more than defeating gender stereotype and maintaining credibility.

People – both men and women – don’t necessarily strive to hide all emotions. We mostly focus our efforts on concealing emotional pain: those feelings that threaten to engulf and destroy, because they reveal our most vulnerable selves. Emotional pain is difficult to express anywhere, let alone in public, let alone on a media-frenzied global stage.

I believe Dr. Ford visibly struggles to hide her feelings because she needs to protect herself: she is, at heart, a person in pain.

In contrast, Judge Kavanaugh, has little trouble blubbering on the stand. He is not someone defined by pain, but rather someone who’s had a bad couple weeks. His primary emotion, revealed through gritted teeth and mottled cheeks, is anger. Not pain. Rage. That classic defense against shame.

So, is Kavanaugh’s huff and bluster masking a guilty conscience? I hope so. Because much more terrifying is the alternative: Brett Kavanaugh is being totally straight with us. He really has no memory of Christine Blasey Ford. Just as he has no memory of committing an act of sexual violence – against her, against anyone.

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How that’s possible comes directly from Dr. Ford herself, prompted by a Senator’s question: “Three people at the party besides yourself and Brett Kavanaugh have given statements under penalty of felony to the committee,” she began. “Are you aware that they say that they have no memory or knowledge of such a party?”

Dr. Ford replied:

“I don’t expect that P.J. and Leland would remember this evening. It was a very unremarkable party. It was not one of their more notorious parties. Nothing remarkable happened to them that evening. They were downstairs. Mr. Judge [the friend alleged to be in the room with her and Kavanaugh during the assault] is a different story. I would expect that he would remember.”

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Her remarks bring to mind a poignant painting by Pieter Breugel, The Fall of Icarus.

The painting depicts a tranquil day by the sea. In the foreground, a farmer plods after his horse and plow, and a humble shepherd herds his sheep. Ships drift by in the shining bay, sails taut with wind. It’s a picturesque scene, and it’s not until after some scrutiny that the viewer finally spots Icarus, plunging headfirst into the sea, legs flailing in a spray of foam.

Now, imagine, if instead of drowning, Icarus had survived. No doubt he would remember that day – the trauma of plummeting thousands of feet into an abyss indelibly seared into his hippocampus (to borrow Dr. Ford’s appropriately Greek word). But what about the shepherd? The farmer with his plow? Or, the sailors manning the ships? Would they remember this day? Would they remember it 40 years later? No. Because, “nothing remarkable happened to them.”

Far worse than a scenario in which one person is lying, and the other telling the truth, is the scenario in which both are telling the truth.

The scenario in which Kavanaugh truly doesn’t remember this night, or this party, or having ever met Christine Blasey Ford, and is truly astounded to find himself accused. How could he forget something so horrible?

Maybe because, for him, to Mark Judge, “the night was unremarkable.” The incident didn’t sear into his brain. It didn’t eat away at his conscience – what he did was normal. He, like so many entitled, carelessly brutal men before him, assaulted a young woman. It was just a regular party. A regular day with his horse and plow.

It was ordinary – and he forgot.

This article originally appeared o

 

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Why you should worry if Rosenstein leaves

Rosenstein to meet Trump Thursday as job hangs in balance

By ZEKE MILLER and ERIC TUCKER –

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House delayed until at least Thursday a decision on the fate of Rod Rosenstein, the Justice Department official overseeing the Trump-Russia investigation, following chaotic hours of breathless and sometimes conflicting reports anticipating his imminent departure.

His future hanging in the balance over revelations that he had discussed possibly secretly recording the president, Rosenstein expected to be fired as he headed for the White House on Monday for what was later described as a prescheduled meeting.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Instead, the White House said that Rosenstein and Trump would meet Thursday after the president’s return to Washington, suggesting the deputy attorney general may be in his job for at least several more days. The meeting is set for the same day as an extraordinary Senate committee hearing that is to feature Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh and a woman who has accused him of sexually assaulting her when they were in high school.

Any termination or resignation would have immediate implications for special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation of possible collaboration between Russia and the Trump campaign before the 2016 election. Rosenstein appointed Mueller and oversees his investigation.

Rosenstein and Trump, who is in New York for a U.N. meeting, had an extended conversation to discuss recent news stories about negative comments Rosenstein is reported to have made last year about the president, said White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

The deputy attorney general was reported as having discussed possibly secretly recording the president and invoking the Constitution to have the Cabinet remove him from office. The Justice Department issued two statements from Rosenstein denying the remarks and released a separate statement from someone who said he recalled the recording comment but insisted that it was meant sarcastically.

As Trump mulled Rosenstein’s fate and consulted on how to respond, Rosenstein was summoned to the West Wing on Friday evening by White House chief of staff John Kelly.

He also spoke with White House counsel Don McGahn over the weekend to say he was considering resigning, according to a person familiar with the conversation. McGahn told Rosenstein they should discuss the issue Monday, said the person who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the private conversation.

Rosenstein was captured by photographers leaving the White House after his meetings Monday and was led out by Kelly.

“At the request of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, he and President Trump had an extended conversation to discuss the recent news stories,” Sanders said in a statement. “Because the President is at the United Nations General Assembly and has a full schedule with leaders from around the world, they will meet on Thursday when the President returns to Washington, D.C.”

It’s unclear what will happen Thursday.

Despite his “You’re Fired!” tagline from his “The Apprentice” reality show days, the president has shown himself reluctant to directly fire aides himself.

While his White House has been marked with unprecedented staff turnover, Trump has often left the task to deputies, including Kelly. He dispatched his former bodyguard to fire former FBI Director James Comey — though Comey was out of town. In other cases, Trump has publicly and privately shamed a staffer, pushing them to resign of their own volition.

President Donald Trump gestures as he arrives at Springfield-Branson in Springfield, Mo. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

The reports about Rosenstein add to the turmoil roiling the administration, just six weeks before midterm elections with control of Congress at stake. In addition to dealing with the Mueller investigation, the White House is also struggling to win confirmation of Kavanaugh, in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations.

The latest speculation surfaced Monday morning amid conflicting reports about Rosenstein’s plans. One person with knowledge of the situation said he expected to be fired, though other reports suggested that he would resign.

Trump, who on Friday suggested that he would remove a “lingering stench” from the Justice Department, did not publicly reveal any plans over the weekend.

As of Sunday, Trump said he had not decided what to do about Rosenstein. He angrily asked confidants, both inside and outside the White House, how to respond. He received mixed messages. Some urged him to fire Rosenstein. Others suggested restraint while seeing if the report was incorrect or if it was planted by some adversary.

Congressional Republicans, Democrats and some Trump aides have warned for months that the president shouldn’t fire Rosenstein, saying such a move could lead to impeachment proceedings if the Democrats retake the House in the upcoming midterms.

Though Trump has mostly spared Rosenstein from some of the harsher and more personal attacks he has directed at Attorney General Jeff Sessions, he has occasionally lashed out with angry tirades at the Justice Department’s No. 2 official, including after FBI raids in April targeting the president’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

Rosenstein appointed Mueller in May of last year after Sessions, who ordinarily would have overseen the investigation, recused himself because of his close involvement in the Trump campaign.

Those developments came one week after Rosenstein laid the groundwork for the firing of Comey by writing a memo that criticized Comey’s handling of the FBI investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server. The White House initially held up that memo as justification for Comey’s firing, though Trump himself has said he was thinking about “this Russia thing” when he made his move.

Were he to be forced out, Solicitor General Noel Francisco, the highest-ranking Senate confirmed official below Rosenstein in the Justice Department, would take control of the Mueller investigation. A spokesman for Mueller declined to comment.

Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, whose private memos document comments made by Rosenstein, said Monday he was concerned that a Rosenstein departure would put the investigation at risk.

“There is nothing more important to the integrity of law enforcement and the rule of law than protecting the investigation of special counsel Mueller,” McCabe said in a statement. “I sacrificed personally and professionally to help put the investigation on a proper course and subsequently made every effort to protect it.”

____

Miller reported from the United Nations. Associated Press writers Michael Balsamo, Chad Day and Jon Lemire contributed to this report.

 

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Manafort agrees too flip his dealer: Trump

Paul Manafort plea deal includes ‘broad’ cooperation with special counsel

Paul Manafort, the onetime campaign chairman for President Donald Trump, has agreed to fully cooperate with prosecutors and pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy in a federal courthouse on Friday, a dramatic shift coming on the eve of a second trial.

In court Friday morning, prosecutors revealed that Manafort had completed a successful meeting with investigators in which he offered them information they considered valuable. They did not specify what information he agreed to share, but made clear the cooperation would be “broad” and would include participation in “interviews, briefings, producing documents, [and] testifying in other matters.”

“You understand that you are agreeing to cooperate fully and truly” in this agreement? the judge asked. Manafort replied, “I do.”

Special Counsel prosecutor Andrew Weissman told the court Manafort’s “proffer session and cooperation … led us to today.”

The agreement marked a significant shift for the Mueller investigation – providing them cooperation from someone who participated in the now-infamous Trump Tower meeting, in which a Russian lawyer came to New York during the campaign promising “dirt” on Trump’s Democratic opponent. As the campaign chairman, Manafort was also privy to the inner workings of the Trump campaign for critical months in 2016.

Prosecutors did not spell out what sentence reductions Manafort could expect in return for his assistance with the probe into possible Russian meddling in the 2016 elections. New court filings and court statements indicate that prosecutors have taken a number of the earlier charges against Manafort, including a money laundering charge that could, on its own, bring a 20-year sentence, and folded them into two charges that could yield five years for each count.

In a federal courtroom in Washington Friday, Judge Amy Jackson ran through the potential consequence Manafort could face if he breached his agreement with the Special Counsel, including additional prison time and the possibility of additional monetary fines.

Shortly after noon, an ashen Manafort was led out of court and back to confinement, with no chance to visit with his wife, who looked on. His lead attorney called it a “tough day” and told ABC News Manafort will fully cooperate.

“He accepted responsibility,” attorney Kevin Downing said. “He wanted to make sure his family was able to remain safe and live a good life.”

Former prosecutor Robert Minsk told ABC News the deal helped Manafort “because it caps his exposure.”

“Make no mistake, this plea deal signals Manafort’s full cooperation with the special counsel,” Minsk said.

On Thursday, ABC News reported that Manafort’s legal team had reached a tentative deal with Mueller’s team after an hours-long meeting at the special counsel’s downtown Washington, D.C., offices.

As part of his agreement with prosecutors, Manafort admitted guilt to ten related charges in Virginia that a jury was unable to reach consensus on at a trial last month.

Prosecutors, who made a point of noting the activity occurred “at least through 2016,” used bank records and other documents to show what they say Manafort did to hide evidence of his work for Ukrainian politicians, hide millions in proceeds in offshore accounts, and then spend the money lavishly on clothing, luxury items, homes and cars.

PHOTO: Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort stands in a court room sketch, on the opening day of his trial on charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Muellers investigation in Alexandria, Va., on July 31, 2018. Bill Hennessy/Reuters
Former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort stands in a court room sketch, on the opening day of his trial on charges stemming from Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation in Alexandria, Va., on July 31, 2018.more +

Prosecutors also noted that Manafort was involved in dealings with several large Washington D.C. law firms, including one led by a one-time powerhouse in Democratic Party circles, Anthony Podesta. Podesta has denied wrongdoing but shuttered his firm not long after charges against Manafort were brought due in part to financial concerns.

PHOTO: Paul Manafort, President Donald Trumps former campaign chairman, leaves the Federal District Court after a hearing, in Washington, DC, May 23, 2018.Jose Luis Magana/AP, FILE
Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman, leaves the Federal District Court after a hearing, in Washington, DC, May 23, 2018.more +

Just under a year ago, the 69-year-old veteran GOP operative was charged in Washington, D.C., with several counts of fraud and failing to register as a foreign agent by the special counsel.

A second case was opened in Virginia earlier this year on related charges that ended with a jury finding Manafort guilty on eight counts out of an 18-count indictment, facing a maximum of 80 years behind the bars, though under sentencing guidelines the term is likely to be closer to seven years. He has not been sentenced in that case.

Both the White House and the Trump legal team stressed they believe the plea offers nothing new about the president or his campaign with Rudy Giuliani, counsel to the president, saying: “The reason: the President did nothing wrong and Paul Manafort will tell the truth.”

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told ABC News: “This had absolutely nothing to do with the President or his victorious 2016 Presidential campaign. It is totally unrelated.”

The White House made similar statements last month and Trump expressed sympathy for Manafort’s legal plight.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I feel very badly for Paul Manafort and his wonderful family. “Justice” took a 12 year old tax case, among other things, applied tremendous pressure on him and, unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to “break” – make up stories in order to get a “deal.” Such respect for a brave man!

 

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‘Dine-and-dash’ dater allegedly left 10 women with hefty restaurant bills, telling one: ‘Order whatever you want’

‘Dine-and-dash’ dater allegedly left 10 women with hefty restaurant bills, telling one: ‘Order whatever you want’

by Tom Embury-Dennis –

A “dine-and-dash” dater is facing years in prison for allegedly forcing a string of first dates to pay for their expensive meals by sneaking out of upscale restaurants after he had finished eating.

Paul Guadalupe Gonzales, from Los Angeles, faces 10 counts of extortion, fraud, and petty theft against at least 10 women over the past two years.

The 45-year-old would reportedly chat to women online, offering to take them to restaurants across the city, before vanishing without a word after consuming large amounts of food and alcohol.

Appearing in court in Pasadena for his preliminary hearing, Mr Gonzales listened as women testified about their experiences dating the alleged tab-skipper.

Martha Barba said she was due to meet Mr Gonzales at a Chipotle outlet in July 2016, before he convinced her into a meal close by at an upscale eatery called Houston’s.

“I didn’t want to go. He didn’t look like his pictures. I wasn’t attracted to him,” Ms Barba said, who nevertheless agreed to go to be “nice”, according to NY Daily News.

“He kept saying, ‘I got you. Order whatever you want. It’s on me. Don’t worry about it’,” Ms Barba said. “He ordered steak, wine, salad, just whatever you could order.”

At one point, Mr Gonzales stood up to take a call and suggested she order dessert while he stepped away to talk, she added. He allegedly never came back, forcing Ms Barba to pay the $120 (£92) bill.

“I felt embarrassed and didn’t want to say anything… I felt humiliated,” Ms Barba, a single mother, told the court. She said she had to use her rent money to cover the cost.

Another woman, Yolanda Lora, told the newspaper she accepted an invite from Mr Gonzales to a sushi restaurant in West Hollywood last year.

“I remember he was talking really fast and eating really fast and then said his youngest son was calling him,” Ms Lora said. She claimed Mr Gonzales ordered two glasses of wine within 15 minutes of each other.

After getting up, she alleges he never returned.

“What kind of monster does this? I was so embarrassed. I’m not an insecure woman, but it made me feel very insecure,” she said. “I’m just glad he got caught. I don’t want any other women to have to go through that.”

According to police, Mr Gonzales ordered expensive wines, steaks, lobster and desserts during more than a dozen dates in which he ran away without paying. He apparently did little to cover his tracks.

While his dates were generally forced to pick up the bill, two restaurants took pity on the women and did not charge them, prosecutors said.

A criminal complaint reads: “In short, the defendant’s wrongful conduct induced innocent third parties to pay for his meal, using the implied threat of public humiliation or being viewed as an accomplice.”

Mr Gonzales has pleaded not guilty, but if convicted could face up to 16 years in jail – justified, prosecutors say, because he “set up a third party to take the fall”.

Mr Gonzales has previously been accused of getting his hair dyed and cut at a hair salon, before running away without paying, still dressed in the salon’s robe.

After the hearing, a judge is set to rule on whether the case should be taken to trial.

 

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Martins Beach Feud Continues as State Prepares for Eminent Domain

State Sen. Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo, addresses reporters after announcing California will pay for a public easement through Martins Beach and the purchase of a new county park along the San Mateo County coastline. The newly created Tunitas Creek Beach can be seen in the background. From left: Hilary Walecka, Coastal Conservancy; Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Palo Alto; Marti Tedesco, Peninsula Open Space Trust; Assemblyman Kevin Mullin, D-San Mateo; and Hill.

HALF MOON BAY, Calif. (CN) – California lawmakers unveiled their strategy for the next round in the long-running feud between the state and a Silicon Valley billionaire over public access to one of the state’s most picturesque beaches.

An assemblage of California legislators gathered on the San Mateo County Coast about 50 miles south of San Francisco Friday to announce the creation of a fund to provide money for the purchase of an easement to facilitate public access to Martins Beach.

“Our goal is to have the gate at Martins Beach open from sunup to sundown every day of the year,” said state Senator Jerry Hill, D-San Mateo. “The entire public should be able to enjoy it and not just some billionaire.”

The “billionaire” is Vinod Khosla, who purchased the 89-acre Martins Beach property dotted with cabins seven miles south of Half Moon Bay. Like all of California’s coastal beaches, Martins Beach remains public – but to access it, the public must traverse a quarter-mile road through Khosla’s property.

The previous ownership group, which sold the property to Khosla in 2008, frequently left the gate open so visitors could access the beach — but Khosla didn’t.

The closed gate and no trespassing signs drew condemnation from locals and lawsuitsfrom the Surfrider Foundation.

Khosla’s lawyers have long argued both in and out of court that the issue comes down to private property rights and that he has the discretion to limit members of the public from walking on his property, while opening and closing the contested gate as he sees fit.

The billionaire co-founder of Sun Microsystems offered to sell an easement to the state for $30 million, which is only $2.5 million less than he paid for the entire property in 2008. The state balked.

Hill noted the State Lands Commission had the easement appraised recently, and an independent analysis valued it at $360,000, although Hill said the estimate was likely far below any potential purchase price.

During the most recent state budget process, state lawmakers — including Hill and Assemblymember Marc Berman, who represents parts of the San Mateo County coast —secured $1 million to be set aside in a sub-account in the State Lands Commission budget with the intent to exercise eminent domain on the easement.

“It’s up to the State Lands Commission to act,” said Jennifer Savage of Surfrider Foundation.

Along with the state’s $1 million, the county of San Mateo has also agreed to put up $1 million to secure the easement.

Hill said that with $2 million available, securing a permanent easement for public access through eminent domain is feasible.

While Hill and other officials waxed optimistic, they also expressed worry that Kholsa’s well-funded attempt to get the issue in front of the U.S. Supreme Court could work.

“I am so worried that the Supreme Court is going to take on this issue and we are going to lose,” Hill said in an interview after the press conference.

Khosla has appealed each of the decisions that have ruled in favor of public access at the California state court level. Last year, he lost in the California state appeals court and petitioned the California Supreme Court to take up the case.

The highest court in California declined, at which point Khosla appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court. The Supreme Court has yet to determine whether it will hear the case. However, it has asked Surfrider Foundation attorneys to respond to Khosla’s petition, which indicates it is at least entertaining the possibility.

Savage, Hill and other public access proponents worry the current conservative composition of the country’s high court will favor the private property argument and potentially gut the California law enshrining the coast as a public resource.

“It’s an attack on the core values of the Coastal Act itself,” Savage said.

Hill agreed.

“It’s the key for the entire state,” he said. “It could affect every beach in California. This could overturn the Coastal Act and the Coastal Commission’s authority.”

Meanwhile, state officials are poised to move ahead with eminent domainproceedings, even as they also turn their attention to other public access issues.

Hill and California Assembly Members Marc Berman and Kevin Mullin announced the state’s allocation of $5 million to facilitate the purchase of a 58-acre beachfront property only a mile down the road from Martins Beach.

“Public access to beaches has always been a way of California life,” Mullin said.

The Tunitas Creek Beach, similar to Martins Beach, is a public resource with access problems due to private property interceding between the beach and Highway 1 to the east.

But now the state has plans to buy the property and install a parking lot, emergency access infrastructure, a path to the beach and other amenities while creating the Tunitas Creek Beach County Park, to be managed by San Mateo County.

The park is slated to open to the public within three years.

The California Coastal Commission has also ramped up aggressive enforcement of public beach access, fining property owners millions of dollars for the creation and maintenance of various structures aimed at impeding public access.

Whether the commission will have the authority to continue to do so will ride on what the U.S. Supreme Court decides.

The defining feature of Martins Beach rises from the coastline as several beachgoers walk through the sand. (Matthew Renda/CNS)
 

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John McCain’s Parting Message: Our Greatness Is in Peril

Today’s Republican Party is the biggest threat to the country that McCain served and loved. He offered an alternative.

By David Leonhardt –

CreditCreditRobyn Beck/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

John McCain was no moderate. He won Barry Goldwater’s Arizona seat in 1986 and was, for the most part, a fitting heir to Goldwater. McCain supported a smaller federal government, a hawkish foreign policy and the typical Republican positions on abortion, guns and other issues.

But McCain pursued his conservative ends through means that are depressingly rare in today’s Republican Party. McCain believed in the American ideals of pluralistic democracy.

He despised autocracy. He was willing to accept defeat when his side lost a political battle. He pushed for an election system not dominated by the wealthy. He came to reject racism as a political strategy. And in his dying months, McCain was one of the only Republicans to oppose President Trump not just with his words, but also with his vote.

In a recent New Yorker essay about Charles de Gaulle, Adam Gopnik described the French leader in ways that left me thinking about McCain’s legacy. “His life is proof that unapologetic right-wing politics do not necessarily bend toward absolutism,” Gopnik wrote. “They can also sometimes stiffen the spine of liberal democracy.”

The absolutism and radicalism of today’s Republican Party is the biggest threat to the country that McCain served and loved. It has left the United States impotent to deal with our greatest challenges — inequality, alienation, climate change and a global drift toward autocracy. Congress, as McCain said last year, is “getting nothing done.” Meanwhile, threats to American power and interests grow.

I expect the Trump presidency to end poorly for Republicans, in some combination of disgrace, unpopularity and defeat. If it does, at least some Republicans will be looking for ways to reinvent their party. They will want an antidote to Trumpism, a set of ideas that manage to be conservative and anti-Trump.

They could do a lot worse than a version of McCainism. I’m well aware that McCain could be maddeningly inconsistent and flawed. He equivocated about the Confederate flag in 2000. He too often acquiesced to Mitch McConnell’s torching of Senate norms. For goodness sake, McCain decided Sarah Palin should be vice president. As he himself admitted, he should have done much more to fight Republican extremism.

But the sum total of his career still represents a meaningful alternative to Trump, McConnell and the rest of today’s Republican leadership. At McCain’s best, as Barack Obama said this weekend, he displayed “a fidelity to something higher — the ideals for which generations of Americans and immigrants alike have fought, marched and sacrificed.”

What would a Republican Party more in the mold of John McCain look like?

It would, for starters, stop cowing to Trump and stand up for American national security. It would investigate Russian cyberattacks and the possibility, as McCain put it, “that the president of the United States might be vulnerable to Russian extortion.” Many of McCain’s colleagues remembering him as a brave patriot are proving themselves to be neither.

Second, a more McCain-like Republican Party would understand that racism is both immoral and, in the long term, politically ruinous. McCain had a multiracial family — the kind that is increasingly America’s future. Rather than scapegoat immigrants, he took risks to pass immigration reform. After Charlottesville, he declared, “White supremacists aren’t patriots, they’re traitors.”

Third, McCain believed in democracy and its vital, fragile institutions. He accepted his two haunting presidential defeats honorably. He has reportedly chosen the victors in those campaigns — Obama and George W. Bush — to deliver eulogies at his funeral. Most significantly, McCain fought for campaign-finance laws to reduce the influence of plutocrats.

Fourth, McCain understood that democracy sometimes means moving on. He voted against Obamacare — a reflection of his small-government conservatism. But he also voted, crucially, against its repeal — a reflection of his small-c conservatism. In doing so, he acted as a modern-day Eisenhower, a Republican willing to accept an expansion of the safety net for the good of the country.

Finally, McCain recognized that the military wasn’t the only way that Washington could use its awesome power for good. When I interviewed him during the 2008 presidential campaign, he described his economic hero as Theodore Roosevelt — a “free-enterprise, capitalist, full-bore guy” who realized that prosperity depended on government agencies “that need to do their job as well.” The outlook led him to favor policies (albeit too sporadically) to fight climate change and expand community colleges.

Imagine how different our politics could be if even some Republicans — à la T.R. — occasionally took the side of the little guy against corporate behemoths. And even if you disagreed with McCain on as many issues as I did, imagine if the Republican Party ultimately came to resemble him more than Trump.

Above all, McCain believed in American greatness — as a reality, not a slogan. He knew that the United States could play a unique role in the world, as a defender of freedom and human dignity. He also knew that the role was anything but assured. It required hard work, good choices, compromise and sacrifice.

McCain’s final message for his country was a warning: Our greatness is in peril.

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