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Kavanaugh reporter’s self-damning interview and other commentary

Court watch: Reporter’s Self-Damning Interview

Robin Pogebrin, co-author of the now-infamous New York Times column airing a new allegation of a Brett Kavanaugh sexual assault, has inadvertently shown her “pure confirmation bias,” says Kyle Smith at National Review. In an interview Tuesday, Pogebrin said she decided to include that accusation, even though the supposed victim recalled no such incident, because “obviously it is of a piece with a kind of behavior” — which only means that it fits the utterly unproven “narrative” that Kavanaugh’s critics have created. More, she kept referring to the woman as a “victim” even though the reporters have yet to find anyone who claims to remember the incident. In other words, the standard isn’t “whether something is true” but “whether it’s ‘conceivable’ ” — and fits the anti-Kavanaugh narrative.

Energy desk: Yang’s Right on Nuclear

“Nuclear power is the only major, established, proven source of power that has zero carbon emissions,” notes Glenn Harlan Reynolds in USA Today, yet “most, but not all, of the Democratic candidates are vague on the subject, silent or opposed to nuclear power.” Only Cory Booker and Andrew Yang are supporters, and Yang’s climate-change plan “has gotten some well-deserved attention.” While “people are scared and invoke things like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island,” they’re actually thinking about “the absurdly dramatized fictional versions of those incidents,” rather than the “inherently safe” reactors we have now. What’s more, if you believe climate change is a genuine crisis, “in a crisis, you do things you haven’t done before” — including building up nuclear power. “Andrew Yang’s right. So why wait?”

Conservative: Trump’s Advantage in Dems’ Base

The latest job report “shows how formidable Trump will be in 2020,” argues J.T. Young at The Hill — at least in part because “demographic groups Democrats dominated in 2016” are “doing remarkably well.” The unemployment rate has remained at “historically low” levels, labor force participation has continued to rise and average hourly earnings have increased — the “real economic variables” for many Americans, rather than the Dow Jones or GDP. For women, blacks and Hispanics, three voting blocs on whom Democrats rely, unemployment has notably decreased. Could Trump’s economy send these groups to the GOP’s side in 2020? “In America’s zero-sum two-party system,” even small swings to Republicans would “yield big political impacts.”

Tech beat: Backlash to the Tech Backlash

“Washington’s love affair with Big Tech is over,” observes James Pethokoukis at The Week. “Obviously.” But is the general public’s? Consider the weak responses to Rob Walker’s New York Times op-ed noting, “We love our devices as much as ever.” Casey Newton of The Verge snarked, “It’s very hard to avoid being a customer” of a monopolistic business, while Axios’ Felix Salmon insists “a techlash doesn’t need to be a ‘spontaneous mass consumer boycott.’ ” But maybe, says Pethokoukis, “people fundamentally accept the user-data-for-free-services trade-off that is the business model of Google and Facebook.” Indeed, a recent survey “found the five most popular brands among Millennials” to be Netflix, Google, Amazon, YouTube and Target. For GenZ: Google, Netflix, YouTube, Amazon and Oreo. So “We don’t just grudgingly like their products of these companies, we kind of like the companies themselves.”

Libertarian: Let’s Egg On the Gov’t-Haters

“Many arms of government are unpopular with large swathes of the American people,” J.D. Tuccille writes at Reason, “and people are not shy about expressing their contempt.” Public support for such agencies as ICE, the IRS and the FBI has “plunged.” Admittedly, some of the hate is partisan: Republicans view ICE favorably and the Democrats unfavorably, while Democrats view the IRS more favorably than Republicans. That said, anyone who wants a “smaller and less bothersome state” may want to help “the major political tribes attack each other’s favored agencies.” While it won’t reduce government, it will “hobble agencies so that they’re less of a threat to our freedom and rights.”

— Compiled by Karl Salzmann

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